“I saw it with my own eyes!” How many times have we said this in the past, especially when we have seen something amazing?
In listing the number of people in 1 Corinthians 15:4-11 the risen Jesus “appeared to”, the word Paul uses literally means “was seen by”, describing the physical act of seeing. He does not use a word referring to having a dream or hallucination.
This is vitally important because the Corinthians have cast doubt upon whether the dead will rise and, by implication, the physical resurrection of Jesus. So, Paul assures us that the resurrection of Jesus rests solidly on eye-witness testimony.
Consider Peter’s story.
Peter is a complicated mix of courage, bravado, impetuosity, and cowardice. With insight that could only come from God, he enthusiastically declares that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) and we are also struck by his bravery when he steps out of the boat and on to the water with Jesus. (Matthew 14:27-29).
It all unravels for Peter on the night of Jesus’ arrest and betrayal when, despite himself, he denies his Master three times.
Peter is shattered by his failure, and following Jesus’ death and burial, he is in hiding, fearing for his life.
It all changes the following Sunday morning. Declaring Jesus to be risen from the grave, the angel touchingly adds, “…go…tell…Peter…” (Mark 16:7).
Peter may have given up on himself, but Jesus clearly had not.
Jesus’ resurrection transforms Peter’s life. He emerges as leader of the Apostles, preaches the first Christian sermon in Jerusalem leading to the conversion of 3000 people and is the first to take the Gospel to non-Jews.
As the humorous quip says, “he goes from zero to hero!”
And it can only be explained by one fact – Peter saw Jesus “with his own eyes!”
Q. Where have you felt the sting of failure? Ask the risen Jesus to transform you and it for His glory.