Peter said a surprising thing to Cornelius (Acts 10), and I turned it into a new devotional for Our Daily Journey. I won’t submit this for two weeks, so there is time to improve it if you have suggestions.
What an odd thing to say! When Peter brought the gospel to the Gentiles, he told Cornelius the story of Jesus. He explained how Jesus traveled throughout Judea healing people and casting out demons, how He died on the cross and rose again, then appeared to his disciples and commanded them to tell everyone He is Israel’s Messiah. And right in the middle Peter added, “We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead (v. 41).”
How is that important? Why did Peter make the point that he shared a meal with the risen Lord? Why does that merit a line in his story of Christ’s death and resurrection? Because Jesus made it a big deal.
When our risen Lord first appeared to His disciples, they were “startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!” Jesus told them to “Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost….” When they still weren’t sure it was really Him, Jesus took “a piece of broiled fish, and He ate it as they watched” (Luke 24:37-43).
This is a pathetic scene, but I’m glad it happened. The triumphant Christ was reduced to “Look, I’m chewing! See, I’m swallowing!”, but His humble act proved He had truly kicked down the door of death and come out the other side. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is essential for our salvation, because “if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). Jesus bore our guilt when He died on the cross. If He had remained dead He would have remained guilty. And so would you and I.
Jesus proved He was God when He did what only God could do. He proved He was really alive when He did what only embodied humans can do. He shared a meal with friends.