STORY FROM FROM MATTHEW 28,
JOHN 14, 20, ACTS 1 - 2, AND
1 CORINTHIANS 15
In the weeks that followed Jesus’ death, He appeared to His disciples many times and was seen by more than 500 eyewitnesses. Quickly the news about His resurrection spread throughout the land.
One of Jesus’ disciples named Thomas said, “I won’t believe He is alive unless I can put my fingers into the holes where His hands where nailed to the cross.”
A few days later, Jesus appeared to His disciples and said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here—feel the hole in my hand. Put your hand into the wound on my side.”
Thomas shouted, “It is you, Jesus—my God!”
Then Jesus said, “I will bless those even more who haven’t seen but still believe!”
Soon after that, Jesus met with His disciples over a meal. He said, “John baptized you in water, but in a few days you will be baptized with God’s Spirit. This will give you power to live in my ways and tell the entire world about me.”
Jesus commanded them, “Go! Make disciples all over the world. Teach them to walk in my ways and obey me. I am leaving now to be with my Father in Heaven, but you will never be alone. God’s Spirit will come and live inside of you, giving you peace and leading you in all the ways of truth.”
As the disciples watched, Jesus went up into the sky, disappearing in the clouds right in front of them!
A few weeks later, a group of 120 of Jesus’ followers gathered to pray together in Jerusalem. All of a sudden, they heard a loud sound—like a roaring windstorm—that filled the house where they were meeting. Each of them was filled with God’s Spirit and started speaking in languages not their own! They went out into the street and began to tell people about the great things that Jesus had done.
At that time, Jews from all over the world were living in Jerusalem. This roaring sound was heard throughout the entire city, and a large crowd had gathered outside the house to see what was going on. When the people heard Jesus’ followers speaking, they said, “How can this be? They’re from Galilee, but they’re speaking in our own languages. This is amazing!”
One of Jesus’ disciples, named Peter, stepped forward to explain to the crowds what was happening. He said, “This is part of God’s prophecy being fulfilled. We are eyewitnesses of the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead and is the true Messiah!”
Then Peter explained how Jesus had fulfilled everything the prophets said about the Messiah. He told the crowd, “Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God. In Jesus, you will find forgiveness. He is the final sacrifice everyone’s sin. This is God’s new covenant offered not just to the Jews, but for all who want to be part of God’s family.” That day thousands believed what Peter had said and turned from their sins to follow Jesus. They were baptized and became a part of God’s family, once again empowered to live out God’s promise to be a blessing to all people.
God’s new covenant was not written on tablets of stone like before, but on the hearts and minds of His people, so they would always know how to live in His ways. These followers of Jesus were deeply committed to God and each other, sharing everything they had, praying, learning God’s ways together, and helping anyone in need—all with great joy and generosity. Daily they ate together to honour and remember Jesus’ life given for them. They saw God do amazing things through them— miracles and healing—as He added people to their group each day.
This was the beginning of what the Bible calls the Church, a community of people all over the world who, because of Jesus, once again enjoy a life that is full and complete, following in the ways of God. We can join this amazing story; the story can continue with us!