Jesus gave proof of life by appearing to the disciples who could see him and touch him. He ate with them, on one occasion making them breakfast. He spoke and taught, having conversations with them, walking with them and giving them instructions for mission. A challenging idea like resurrection demands substantial evidence to support it. Jesus provided the evidence. Appearance after appearance, the proof of life stacked up.
Proof of life, that Jesus is risen, is also proof of afterlife. Because Jesus is risen, we who put our faith in him will also rise. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. ... But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” (1 Corinthians 15:20–23)
When we look at the resurrection appearances there is more than proof of life, there is proof of love. Mary recognised him when he called her by name – Mary. The disciples on the road to Emmaus felt their hearts warm within them as they talked with Jesus. Jesus was compassionate to Peter who denied him three times, gently restoring him by similarly asking three times, Do you love me? And then giving Peter the mission to feed his lambs. To call the other disciples his lambs reveals Jesus’ tender care for all who follow him. Proof of life may be information for our heads, but proof of love is relationship for our hearts. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) I suppose a sceptic may not be convinced with the proof of life, but I hope they may be moved by the proof of love.
Consider the way Jesus provided “proof of life”. What difference does this make to you?
When you look at these stories where do you find proof of Jesus’ love?
How might Jesus, presence in your life, what you do and say, provide proof of his life and love to others?
Rev John Malcolm