Following Jesus' Resurrection, His pain and suffering were over and many think of His arising from the dead as the end of the story. But the story of Easter doesn't end there, for he still had an important component of His mission to complete before His time on earth was over.
God wanted Him to be seen, seen in various places and at various times. A number of instances are recorded in the Bible, including at the tomb, on the road to Emmaus, in person before the Disciples gathered in Jerusalem and, of course, talking to the Disciples at the time of His Ascension and there was an overriding reason for these appearances taking place. They offered solid evidence of the reality of the story for all time. Often He wasn't initially recognized during these events until the darkness was removed from their eyes, but then all in His presence realized it was truly Jesus. The Disciple Thomas went so far as to still doubt Him until He was allowed to touch Him and examine His hands with the scars from the nails.
The story of who He was and what He did formed the basis for faith which allowed for belief among his followers and millions to come in later generations on earth. Just like the miracles during His human phase, the forty days before His Ascension were used to accentuate the reality of His life and purpose. It wasn't scientific proof, but it was enough evidence to make it believable to mankind through faith, and that's as God intended.
What an amazing plan that God laid out and how wonderful that whether one believes the story or not is up to each individual. It is a free will choice and we are able to make our own decision on the matter. But remember, the choice we make has consequences and we each live or die by that choice. Choose wisely, my friends, choose wisely.
Dear Lord, We thank you for the wonderful plan that you created for us and for your patience and love for all through the opportunity to freely choose what type of future we want. Free choice makes us appreciate the right choice if we make it and we pray that you help each of us to fully open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, that we might understand, gain faith and believe. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen.