And last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (1 Cor. 15:8)

THE POST-RESURRECTION APPEARANCES of Jesus certainly had the effect of proving He was alive. There was not just one sighting that could have been explained away as a delusion or posttraumatic hysteria. There were numerous appearances to numerous groups, including five hundred at one time. Beyond proving His resurrection, Jesus had some personal messages He had to deliver to some special people.

He appeared to Peter (Cephas), who had grievously disappointed himself and denied his Lord. Jesus needed to assure him that his failure was not final; he could be restored. He appeared to James, the brother of Jesus, who had accused his brother of being crazy and had remained skeptical through the whole redemptive event. Jesus needed to tell him that his skeptical nature did not mean his character was cast in concrete; he could be changed. And He appeared to Paul, who had persecuted those who were committed to Christ and had done his best to put an end to the movement. Jesus needed to tell him that his past was not permanent; he could have a new start. These three individuals represent all of us who are unworthy, unbelieving, and unlikely to ever come to Christ. So He came to them, and He comes to us.

Your personal trajectory changes dramatically when Jesus intersects your life. There is nothing you have done that can’t be forgiven. There is no personality type that is beyond the reach of transforming love.

Don’t give up on that person you consider most unlikely to ever come to Christ.

Ken Heer has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-one years and lives in Florida with his wife Nancy. They have three children and nine grandchildren.