JESUS FIRST APPARITION
36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “PEACE TO YOU!”
37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.
38And he said to them, “WHY ARE YOU TROUBLED, AND WHY DO DOUBTS ARISE IN YOUR HEARTS? 39SEE MY HANDS AND MY FEET, THAT IT IS I MYSELF. TOUCH ME, AND SEE. FOR A SPIRIT DOES NOT HAVE FLESH AND BONES AS YOU SEE THAT I HAVE.”
40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “HAVE YOU ANYTHING HERE TO EAT?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate before them.
44Then he said to them, “THESE ARE MY WORDS THAT I SPOKE TO YOU WHILE I WAS STILL WITH YOU, THAT EVERYTHING WRITTEN ABOUT ME IN THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE PROPHETS AND THE PSALMS MUST BE FULFILLED.”
45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “THUS IT IS WRITTEN, THAT THE CHRIST SHOULD SUFFER AND ON THE THIRD DAY RISE FROM THE DEAD, 47AND THAT REPENTANCE FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS SHOULD BE PROCLAIMED IN HIS NAME TO ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING FROM JERUSALEM.
48YOU ARE WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS. 49AND BEHOLD, I AM SENDING THE PROMISE OF MY FATHER UPON YOU.
BUT STAY IN THE CITY UNTIL YOU ARE CLOTHED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.”
This narrative is the Lukan version of the first apparition of our Lord to the eleven apostles, and other disciples at the upper room, also mentioned in other gospels (Mark 16:14-18; John 20:19-23).
Lord Jesus appeared to more than just the 10 Apostles (Judas Iscariot was dead, and Thomas was not present at this occasion - John 20:24), He appeared to a group of disciples residents in Jerusalem, all together with the Apostles, under closed doors, in fear of the Jews (John 20:19).
He presented Himself physically, not only spiritually. He reassured of this to the present, since He trespassed the closed doors and walls entering the place (John 20:19; Luke 24:37), so that they had the impression that that was a ghostly apparition. Lord Jesus had to show his body, the marks of the nails in his hands and feet, and even eat, to demonstrate not only that He was alive, but also that He was physically resurrected. This is openly obvious, against heresies that sustain that Jesus was only a spirit at that moment, and that his body and eating, were an illusion provided to the disciples.
Jesus opened through his own divine power, the faculty of understanding the Scriptures, to the men, women and children there present. In the same manner the Holy Spirit guides us to knowledge and discernment of the Scripture and Will of God today. And Lord Jesus said another very important thing.
He commissioned his disciples, all of them, not only the 10 Apostles, to announce ‘Repentance for the forgiveness of sins’.
To repent, it is necessary first, to have knowledge and acceptance of guilt, which in turn, is born from our faith in God, who provides the guide of what is right and wrong.
To have knowledge of God and pursuit his Will, implicates a pre-existing Faith and submission to his authority, which also in turn, moves us to repentance, and the subsequent forgiveness of sins.
This is important to notice, against the wrong idea that only faith, without repentance, is necessary for forgiveness and salvation.
Repentance means acknowledge of sinfulness, and this is impossible to attain without faith, but it is the moment of repentance, when we receive that forgiveness promised by Lord Jesus. This is what makes us different from demons and other ‘believing’ sinners, and which James speaks about in his epistle (James 2:17, 19).
Finally, Lord Jesus prevents his disciples to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, so that they will be constituted Children of God, Church of Christ, Royal Priesthood, and with this authority in them, be endowed with divine power. Power that resides in all true believers in virtue of the divine seed planted in our persons by God, the Holy Spirit.