To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days…
A host of reasons suggest themselves as to why He should at once enter into His glory.
I. EARTH AT BEST COULD HAVE BEEN BUT A VERY DREARY HOME FOR HIM WHO HAD COME FROM THE PARADISE OF GOD. For Him, the high King of Glory, we could find no fit entertainment. What society was there for Him, the all-wise? Thou hast given Thy life, O Lord, O glorious Son of God. Thou canst give no more. And where upon this guilty earth is any rest for Thee now since that dreadful Cross has cast its shadow over all the land!
II. THEN CHRIST HIMSELF LONGED FOR REST. He who dwelt in the bosom of the Father was an exile here.
III. THEN, AGAIN, THERE WAITED FOR CHRIST HIS GREAT TRIUMPH, that to which He has looked forward during all His life-work, finding in it strength and consolation. "For the joy that was set before Him He endured the Cross, despising the shame."
IV. DELAY WOULD BE WORSE THAN UNFITTING. If His reign means the world's salvation, gifts for men, the proclaiming of the gospel with the power of the Holy Ghost, dare He linger still upon earth? No, it is not human, this delay, Not our thought nor our way is this. It is all Divine — just like our blessed Lord. This lingering for the forty days is the crowning proof of His tender regard for His little flock. He who had laid down His life for them is loath to leave them. He must tarry with them till He has made them feel that He is just the same friendly, brotherly Jesus that He has ever been, caring for them in their work, watching them with a yearning pity, stooping to kindle a fire for their warmth and to cook the fish for their meal, and then to bid them come and dine.
V. Then again, THESE DAYS WERE THE NECESSARY PREPARATION FOR THE ASCENSION. A very tender and beautiful upleading of the disciples. Then with this exalted vision of their glorious Lord filling all their soul they went back to Jerusalem. Now they were able worthily to celebrate the Ascension. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy. Now all the familiar songs of triumphs come in to tell of the coronation of the King. Now they heard the rapturous anthem of the angels, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in." So we must know Him. And thus does He seek to lead us in our weakness and dimness of faith into the knowledge of Himself. So day by day does He lead us on our way, ordering our steps that life may make more room for Him, and that He may give us Himself as our salvation and our strength.
(M. G. Pearse.)
Parallel VersesKJV: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: