As a matter of historical record, on this Easter Monday, we might recap the appearances Christ physically made between His resurrection and His ascension on the Day of Pentecost. The first five were made on the day of His resurrection, the next five afterwards. The exact order of these appearances is debatable, but this may be close to reality:
- To Mary Magdalene (Mk. 16:9-11, Jn. 20:11-18).
- To women returning from the tomb (Matt. 28:8-10).
- To Peter, probably that afternoon (Lk. 24:34, 1 Cor. 15:5).
- To those walking to Emmaus towards the evening (Mk. 16:12, Lk. 24:13-32).
- To the disciples, Thomas being absent (Mk. 16:14, Lk. 24:36-43, Jn. 20:19-25).
- On the following Sunday evening, to the disciples, Thomas being present (Jn. 20:26-32, 1 Cor. 15:5).
- To seven by the Sea of Galilee (Jn. 21).
- To the apostles and “over 500 brethren” (Matt. 28:16-20, Mk. 16:15-18, 1 Cor. 15:6).
- To James, Jesus’ half-brother (1 Cor. 15:7).
- At His ascension from Olivet (Mk. 16:19-20, Lk. 24:44-53, Acts 1:3-12).
Additionally, after His ascension, Christ appeared most likely in a vision one or more times to three men:
- To Stephen, at his stoning (Acts 7:55-60).
- To Paul, at his conversion (Acts 9:3-17, 22:6-15, 26:12-19, 1 Cor. 9:1, 15:8).
- To Paul, at Corinth (Acts 18:9-10).
- To Paul, at the temple in Jerusalem (Acts 22:17-21).
- To Paul, later in Jerusalem (Acts 23:11).
- To Paul, in another vision (2 Cor. 12:1-4).
- To John, the apostle on the island of Patmos (Rev. 1:10-19).
One might easily dismiss one or a few sightings as being delusional. Here, all told, we have hundreds of people that encountered the resurrected Jesus. Any single persons testimony on anything is irrefutable, but questionable. With higher numbers of people testifying to the same experience, the experience is geometrically less questionable.