After Jesus raised from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and many people to prove that he was indeed alive, and these stories are recorded in several places in the Bible. His first appearance was to 3 women (which we included in the Jesus is Alive! lesson), but we've chosen some scriptures that highlight the more memorable events after his initial appearances.
- On the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) - As two of Jesus' disciples (Cleopas and an un-named disciple) were traveling to Emmaus from Jerusalem, Jesus appeared to them and talked with them. At first, they didn't recognize him, but that night at dinner, God revealed Jesus' identity to them.
- With the 10 disciples (Luke 24:36-49) - Those two disciples met up with the 10 (the original 12 minus Judas Iscariot and Thomas) to tell them about what happened. While they were meeting, Jesus appeared to them all. He demonstrated to them that he was not a ghost, but a real, flesh and blood living person in a resurrected body by eating with them. He also helped them understand how he fulfilled the Old Testament.
- Jesus appears to Thomas (John 20:19-28) - We learn from the John account that when Jesus originally appeared to the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed "the twin") wasn't there. So when the other disciples were telling Thomas about everything that happened, Thomas didn't believe them. He said the famous words (John 20:25): "First I must see the nail marks in his hands. I must put my finger where the nails were. I must put my hand into his side. Only then will I believe what you say.” Then, a week later, Jesus appeared to them again, and this time Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to put his fingers on his wounds and believe. But Thomas didn't need to. Just seeing Jesus was enough.
- Jesus does a miracle at sea again (John 21:1-13) - Several of the disciples were together, and Peter decided to go fishing and the others went with him. They fished all night and hadn't caught anything. A man called out from the shore and asked them if they had caught any fish. They replied that it had been a tough night of fishing and they hadn't caught anything. He told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and they miraculously caught a huge catch of fish. Peter must have had a flashback to when he was called (see the story in Luke 5:1-11), and he immediately recognized that it was Jesus. Then they went on the shore and Jesus had prepared them a meal of fresh grilled fish.
- Jesus restores Peter (John 21:14-17) - As we learned in the Gethsemane lesson, Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Jesus cared about Peter and wanted him to know that he still loved him even though he denied him. He made a point to ask Peter 3 times whether he loved him, giving him 3 opportunities to correct his mistake. Jesus had already told Peter that he was going to be the “little rock” that he built his church on. Peter must have surely felt that he messed that whole thing up! But Jesus was restoring Peter and giving him the confidence to lead again.
To put this story in context, see this visualization of the chronology of Holy Week.