We know these stories. We hear the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus so often that we forget how shocked his friends would have been. But think of it. Have you ever encountered someone whom you knew had passed on? Probably not. We are not truly prepared for such an encounter.
Of course, the disciples of Jesus were terrified. At first, they did not believe what they saw—Jesus, suddenly in their midst. They mistook him for a ghost. But then, he ate fish with them and showed them his hands and feet, broken and bloody from the horrific crucifixion he had gone through. Here he was, standing and smiling gently at them. He lived, yet how? This is the miraculous work of our God, our Creator. Startled and terrified at first, the disciples soon were overcome with joy and amazement.
There are no limitations to the creative power of our God. The disciples learned this more deeply as they, commissioned by Jesus, went out on their mission to the world. After healing the crippled man at Solomon’s Portico, Peter asked why the onlookers were so amazed. This is not our doing, Peter said. It is the work of God, the God of Abraham and Isaac, of Jacob and your fathers. Jesus suffered greatly and was condemned to death. But God raised him from the dead. God is able; when no one else is able, God is. O Lord, our God, how wonderful is your name over all the earth.