Why Couldn’t They Recognize Him?

Q. I read your questions/answers, and many of my questions have been addressed/resolved. In Sunday School this past Sunday, the question was raised and nobody seemed to have a good (satisfying) answer … Between the time of Christ’s resurrection and ascension, there are many instances of Him presenting himself to others. Many times he was not immediately recognized … (Road to Emmaus, Mary at the tomb). It seems we will be recognizable when we get to heaven (Lazarus and the rich man, transfiguration) yet Jesus was not recognized. Why do you think Jesus was not recognized?

A. Isaiah 50:6 says that one of the ways in which the Messiah would be tortured before His death would be to have His beard pulled out. Isaiah 52:14 says the beatings He would suffer would disfigure Him beyond human likeness. If any evidence of this remained after His resurrection He could have been unrecognizable. In addition Luke 24:16-31 says the 2 disciples who met Him on the Road to Emmaus were prevented from recognizing Him until He broke bread with them. But the biggest reason might have been that subconsciously no one really expected to see Him alive again, so when they did see Him perhaps it didn’t register in their minds that is was Him.

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