Where did Jesus go after the resurrection?

The witnesses of the resurrection in the Bible

Bible series "Best of Bible"

The fact that the resurrection of Jesus is being questioned is neither new nor reprehensible. However, the biblical witnesses of the resurrection have had an experience that cannot be disputed: They met the risen Jesus Christ in person.

Mary Magdalene

Of all people, the risen Jesus shows himself first to a former prostitute. She stands crying at the empty grave, next to which two angels sit. She sees a man, suspects it is a gardener, and asks him where he had taken the body. “Woman, what are you crying?” Asks the man - then she recognizes his voice and says: “Rabbuni”, that means: “Master”. She wants to touch him, but he rudely forbids her: “Don't touch me!” And he tells her to preach the message of the resurrection to the “brothers”.

Quote: "But when Jesus was resurrected early on the first day of the week, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven evil spirits."(Mark 16: 9); Another Bible passage John 20: 11-18

Mary, mother of James

According to the evangelists Mark and Matthew, Mary Magdalene does not meet the risen Christ alone; with her is Mary, the mother of James. As the two women go to the grave, they are surprised by an earthquake, at the same time an angel comes out of heaven and rolls the stone from the grave entrance. Jesus is no longer in the grave, he proclaims, they could meet him in Galilee. They start running with “fear and great joy” when they meet Jesus and says: “Greetings!” How do the two women react? So:

Quote: "And they came to him and took hold of his feet and fell down before him." (Matthew 28: 1-10)

The Emmaus disciples

Three days after the crucifixion, two of his disciples walk back from Jerusalem to Galilee and talk about what happened. A third person joins them and lets them explain the situation to them; When he hears their doubts, he explains to them the Bible, which points to Christ. But only in the evening, when they were eating together in the village of Emmaus, “their eyes were opened and they recognized him”: The unknown third wanderer is the risen Jesus!

Quotation: "As they talked and discussed one another, Jesus approached himself and went with them." (Luke 24: 13-35)

The eleven disciples

First, Mary Magdalene reports to the disciples that she had met the risen Jesus. Finally, the risen One appears in Jerusalem himself to his disciples (since Judas, the traitor, is missing, there are eleven instead of originally twelve). “Peace be upon you!” He greets them. In order to nip doubts and inquiries in the bud, he shows them his hands, which still have the wounds of their nails, and his side, which has been pierced by a soldier's lance. Thereupon he “blew on them” as a sign that the Holy Spirit was now with them.

Quote: "The disciples were glad that they saw the Lord." (John 20: 19-23)

The incredulous Thomas

Shortly afterwards, the disciples tell their brother Thomas about the encounter. He reacts skeptically: "If I don't see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger in the nail marks and put my hand in his side, I can't believe it." After eight days, Jesus appears again to the assembled disciples and asks Thomas to give his To put fingers in his wound. That is enough for Thomas to lose his doubts and to confess: "My Lord and my God!" Jesus answers:

Quote: "Because you have seen me, Thomas, that is why you believe." (John 20: 24-29)

Peter and the favorite disciple

The Evangelist John reports on another memorable encounter. At the Sea of ​​Galilee, Jesus appears to Peter and some other disciples. You want to go fishing. Jesus, initially unrecognized, advises them to cast the net to the right - and promptly they catch 153 fish. After they have eaten the fish together, he instructs Peter: “Feed my sheep!” Peter wonders, asks what will happen to Jesus' favorite disciple. “What is it to do with you?” Replies Jesus, “you follow me!”

Quote: "When it was already morning, Jesus stood on the bank." (John 21)


Even after Jesus went to heaven, he shows himself to people. The Evangelist Luke describes a particularly impressive encounter in the Acts of the Apostles. Saul (later called Paul), a strictly law-abiding Jew, persecuted the Christians to the death. On the way to Damascus "suddenly a light from heaven shone around him" and he heard a voice: "Saul, what are you persecuting me?" Saul asked who was speaking - "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," said the voice. After this encounter with Jesus, Saul went from persecuting Christians to becoming the most successful missionary of the early church.

Quote: "Last of all, it was also seen by me as an untimely birth." (1 Corinthians 15: 1-8); Another biblical passage in Acts 9: 1-19

Uwe Birnstein

For further reading:
Andreas Lindemann: Resurrection. Thoughts on Biblical Tradition, Göttingen 2009