Jesus appears to his followers to instruct and encourage them
ON THE third day after Jesus’ death, certain women who were his disciples discovered that the stone blocking the entrance to the tomb had been rolled away. Furthermore, the tomb was empty!
Two angels appeared. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene,” one said. “He was raised up.” (Mark 16:6) Without delay, the women ran to tell the apostles. On the way, they met Jesus. “Have no fear!” he said. “Go, report to my brothers, that they may go off into Galilee; and there they will see me.”—Matthew 28:10.
Later that day, two disciples were walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. A stranger joined them and asked what they were talking about. He was, in fact, the resurrected Jesus, who appeared in a form they did not recognize at first. With sad faces they replied that they had been speaking about Jesus. The stranger began to explain things pertaining to the Messiah in all the Scriptures. Indeed, Jesus had fulfilled Messianic prophecies down to the finest detail.* When the disciples realized that the stranger was Jesus, who had been resurrected as a spirit, he disappeared.
The two disciples immediately returned to Jerusalem. There they found the apostles gathered behind locked doors. While the two related their experience, Jesus appeared. His astonished followers could hardly believe it! “Why is it doubts come up in your hearts?” Jesus asked. “It is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from among the dead on the third day.”—Luke 24:38, 46.
For 40 days after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples on different occasions. In one case, he appeared to more than 500! Likely on this occasion, he gave them this weighty assignment: “Go . . . and make disciples of people of all the nations, . . . teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”—Matthew 28:19, 20.
At his last meeting with his 11 faithful apostles, Jesus promised: “You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Then Jesus was lifted up, and a cloud blocked their view of him as he ascended to heaven.
^ par. 6 For examples of Messianic prophecies fulfilled in Jesus, see Section 14, Section 15, and Section 16 of this brochure as well as the appendix article “Jesus Christ—The Promised Messiah” in the book What Does the Bible Really Teach?