Allan Kardec

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56. “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said: “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her: “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic: “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said: “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. (John, 20: 14 to 18).

57. Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them: but they were kept from recognizing him. 17. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him: “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” He said to them: “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying: “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them: “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them: “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them: “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them: “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them: “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke, 24: 13 to 49).

58. Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord! “But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John, 20: 24 to 29).

59. Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. (John, 21: 1 to 8).

60. When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Luke, 24: 50 to 53).

61. The appearance of Jesus after death is reported by all the evangelists with circumstantial details, which will not allow us to doubt the reality of the fact. They are, besides, perfectly explained by the fluidic laws and properties of the perispirit, and present nothing anomalous to the phenomena of the same kind of which ancient and contemporaneous history offers numerous examples, without excepting the tangibility of the form presented. If one observes the circumstances which have attended his diverse appearances, one recognizes in him at these moments all the characters of a fluidic being. He appeared and disappeared unexpectedly; he was seen by some, and not by others, under a guise not recognized even by his disciples; he appeared to them in closed rooms, where a carnal body could not have penetrated; his language even has not the animation of a corporeal being; he has the tone which is brief and sententious, peculiar to spirits who manifest in this manner. His whole manner, in short, is not that of a denizen of the terrestrial sphere. The sight of him causes at the same time surprise and fear. His disciples, in seeing him, speak no more to him with the old freedom; they feel that he is a man no more.

Jesus then showed his perispiritual body to them, which explains why he was seen only by those to whom he desired to make himself known. If he had worn his carnal body, he would have been seen by the first comer as in life. His disciples, being ignorant of the first cause of the phenomenon of apparitions, took no account of these peculiarities, which were not probably remarked. They saw Jesus, and touched him; for them it was the resurrected body (chap. XIV, n° 14 and 35 to 38).

62. Whilst incredulity rejects all facts accomplished by Jesus having a supernatural aspect, and considers them without exception as legends, Spiritism gives the greater part of them a natural explanation. It proves their possibility, not alone by the theory of the fluidic laws, but by their identity with analogous facts produced by a multitude of persons in the most common conditions. Since these facts are in some respects public property, they prove nothing, in principle, touching the exceptional nature of Jesus. *

* The numerous contemporaneous facts of cures, apparitions, possessions, second sight, etc., which are related in the “Revue Spirite,” and recalled in the above notes, offer, even to circumstances of detail, such a striking analogy to those which the evangelist reports, that their similarity in cause and effect are evident. One naturally asks why the natural cause of today should be a supernatural one in another epoch of the world’s history, — diabolical with some, and divine with others. If it had been possible to have compared the two together here at greater length, the comparison would have been easier; but their number, and the elaborate explanations which the greater part necessitate, have not permitted of it.

63. The greatest miracle Jesus has performed — that which truly attests his superiority — is the revolution his teachings have made in the world, notwithstanding his limited field of action.

Jesus was indeed poor, obscure, born in a most humble condition among a despised people, very ignorant, and without political, artistic, or literary influence. He preached only three years. During this time, so short in duration, he was despised and persecuted by his fellow-citizens, calumniated and treated as an impostor; he was often obliged to flee, in order to escape stoning; he was betrayed by one of his own apostles, denied by another, and forsaken by all at the moment when he fell into the hands of his enemies. He did only good; but that did not shelter him from malevolence, which turned against him even the blessings which he bestowed. Condemned to the death reserved for criminals, he died ignored by the world; for contemporary history is silent in regard to him. * He has written nothing himself; however, aided by some obscure men like himself, his words have been sufficient to regenerate the world. His doctrine has killed all-powerful paganism, and has become the torch of civilization. He had against him all that can possibly foil men in an earthly career. This is the reason why we say that the triumph of his doctrine is the greatest of his miracles; at the same time, it proves his divine mission. If, in place of social and regenerative principles, founded upon the spiritual future of man, he had offered to posterity only a few marvelous facts, scarcely would his name be mentioned today.

* The Jewish historian, Josephus, is the only one who speaks of him, and he writes very little in respect to him.

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