In an effort to make our faith secure, Jesus appeared to his disciples on eleven distinct occasions. Here they are:
1. Mary Magdalene alone (Mk 16; Jn 20.14)
2. The woman returning from the tomb (Mt 28.9-10)
3. Simon Peter alone (Lk 24.34)
4. Two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Lk 24.13-35)
5. Apostles at Jerusalem, without Thomas (Jn 20.19)
6. Apostles at Jerusalem, a second time, with Thomas present (Jn 20.26-29)
7. Sea of Tiberias, seven disciples fishing (Jn 21.1)
8. To the Eleven, on mountain in Galilee (Mt. 28.16)
9. To 500+ disciples (1Cor 15.6)
10. To James alone (1Cor 15.7)
11. To the Apostles on Mt. Olivet at his Ascension (Lk 24.51; Acts 1.6-11)
This is mere speculation and devotional in nature, but I thought I would share it. As you may know twelve symbolizes perfection or completion. Could it be that Christ reveals himself through his Word to you and to me as the Twelfth appearance. Blessed are those who have not seen with eyes of flesh, yet see with the eyes of faith. After all, isn’t this what Luke is attempting to do in his gospel and sequel (Acts)? Isn’t he attempting to give an account to most excellent Theophilus (“Lover of God”)? By giving such an account, he wants to make our faith certain that not only these things happened, but they cause ripple effects into our own space and time.
Christ truly is walking amongst us through the power and illuminating power of his Spirit.