Mk. 16:14; Lk. 24:36-43; Jn. 20:19-25
After the report of the disciples from Emmaus, Jesus appeared in a locked room before the apostles, except Thomas. They were eating supper and had locked the doors because they were afraid of the Jews.
One can imagine that those assembled were discussing the events of the last three days. They were concerned about Judas, one of their own, who had betrayed Jesus. Future plans were in a state of turmoil. The various reports of those who had seen Jesus had confused them even further. They just could not believe that a man could rise from the dead even though He had said that He would.
When Jesus appeared, the disciples were not just scared; they were terrified because they thought that they had seen a spirit. He rebuked them because of their unbelief and then showed them evidences that He indeed was a Man. “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”
At that time, Jesus gave what might be called a preamble to the Great Commission. He had come to establish the New Testament and now was ready to send the apostles to proclaim its provisions.
As a symbol of the baptism the apostles would receive soon, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on them.
Through the teaching of the New Testament, the apostles would have the power to forgive or retain sins. However, they could not just say, “Your sins are forgiven.” They had to work within the framework of the commands of God as found in the New Testament.
Sometime after Jesus had left, Thomas returned. When he had heard the news that the other disciples had seen Jesus, He said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”