When Peter brought the gospel to the Gentiles, he told Cornelius the story of Jesus. He explained how the Savior traveled throughout Judea healing people and casting out demons, died on the cross and rose again, and then appeared to His disciples and commanded them to tell everyone He was Israel’s Messiah. And right in the middle Peter added, “We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:41).
What an odd thing to say! Why did Peter make a point of the fact that he had shared a meal with the risen Lord? Because Jesus made it a big deal.
When our risen Lord first appeared to His disciples, they were “startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!” Jesus told them to “look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost.” When they still weren’t sure it was really Him, Jesus took “a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched” (Luke 24:37-43).
This is a pathetic scene, but I’m glad it happened. The triumphant Christ had said, in effect, “Look, I’m chewing! See, I’m swallowing!” But His humble act proved He had truly kicked down the door of death and come out the other side. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is essential for our salvation, because “if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). If Jesus had remained dead, He would have remained guilty. And you and I would be guilty too.
Jesus proved He was divine when He did what only God could do. He proved He was really alive when He did what only embodied humans can do—He shared a meal with friends.
by Mike Wittmer