Douglas MacKinnon: Jesus and the half-way point of forty days

In a day and age where Christianity is under increased international, terroristic, and rhetorical attack; when politicians cowardly avoid even saying the word “Christian”; and when good people are turning their backs on faith in record numbers, maybe it’s time to simply regroup and refocus on the eternal messages of love, hope, peace, and salvation given to us by Jesus Christ Himself.

Many of those words being spoken during a miraculous time and journey many Christians have forgotten about and even fewer now celebrate. That being the 40 days after His resurrection in which Jesus Christ literally and physically walked the earth.

Since Easter Sunday this year fell on April 21, that means the celebration and remembrance of those momentous days goes on until May 30.

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With each passing year, more and more people do forget those days. I was one of them until a series of somewhat surreal events caused me to focus on those days, see them, and then recount them.

The natural question for many believers and non-believers being: “Why would Jesus stay on earth after His resurrection instead of ascending directly to Heaven?”

First and foremost, it was to offer His followers – and even more importantly, the doubters – proof of His resurrection.

He knew that the Roman authorities were doing all in their power to spread the word that the “Myth of Jesus Christ died with His crucifixion.”

He knew the easiest and most glorious way to defeat that plan was to simply appear in the flesh before those who knew Him and those who only heard the stories of Him.

He appeared before His apostles at least twice. Once when they were gathered together and once when they were fishing.

In both cases, He removed all doubt as to who He was and that He was risen.

Twenty years after the resurrection, the apostle Paul added even more detail regarding that time: “He appeared to more than five hundred…at the same time. Most of whom are still living.”

Men, women, and children who could and would spread the word.

And that was the ultimate goal. To prove His existence while restoring and reinforcing faith.

Forty days. Basically six weeks after His resurrection in which Jesus Christ interacted with as many people as possible in His physical form to remind them of what was truly important and what could await them after their lives on Earth concluded.

Today, Christianity is under a withering attack in much of the world and its traditions are being marginalized and morphed into secular celebrations here in our own country.

For those who truly believe, we must not bend. We must not break.

We must remember what is truly important and speak out in peace.

Every day should be a day to spread the loving messages of Jesus Christ. But especially, it seems to me, during the time when He Himself chose to walk the earth and fill people with hope, joy, faith, and salvation.

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Forty Days.

What will you do with the rest of them?

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