How Long Was Jesus on Earth After His Resurrection: A Concise Overview

By Charalampos •  Updated: 04/19/23 •  7 min read

One of the central events in Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This miraculous event is widely believed to have occurred three days after his crucifixion by the Romans. However, a common question that arises is how long Jesus stayed on earth after his resurrection before ascending into heaven.

According to biblical accounts, Jesus remained on Earth for 40 days following his resurrection. During this time, he appeared to his disciples and other followers, providing them with many infallible proofs of his resurrection and speaking about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

This period served to strengthen, teach, and confirm the faith of his disciples, providing them with a solid foundation for the establishment of the Christian church.

In this article, we will explore the people and places Jesus visited after He was resurrected. Keep reading!

Biblical Timeline of Jesus’ Events After Resurrection

 resurrection of Jesus

First Appearance to Mary Magdalene

Following Jesus’ resurrection, his first appearance was to Mary Magdalene, one of his most faithful followers. According to the Gospel of John, this encounter took place early on the first day of the week, just outside the empty tomb (John 20:11-18).

Meeting the Disciples

Later that same day, Jesus appeared to his disciples, who had gathered behind closed doors due to fear of persecution. He showed them his hands and side, as proof of his resurrection, and breathed the Holy Spirit upon them (John 20:19-23). This meeting marked the beginning of Jesus’ post-resurrection ministry.

Doubting Thomas Incident

One of the disciples, Thomas, was not present during Jesus’ initial appearance to the group. When the others told him about the event, Thomas expressed doubt and indicated that he would not believe it until he saw and touched the wounds himself (John 20:24-25).

Approximately one week later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples and this time Thomas was present. Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds and believe, which led to Thomas exclaiming, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26-29).

Appearance in Galilee

Following these events, Jesus appeared to his disciples in Galilee, as he had instructed them prior to his crucifixion (Matthew 28:10).

This appearance was significant, as it included a meeting with more than 500 followers at once (1 Corinthians 15:6). During this time, he continued to teach and commission his disciples for their future ministry (Matthew 28:16-20; John 21).

Read Also: How Old Was Jesus When He Died?

Time Span of Jesus’ Post-Resurrection Period

 Jesus Post-Resurrection

40 Days After Resurrection

Jesus Christ remained on Earth for a period of 40 days after his resurrection. During this time, he made several appearances to his disciples and others, providing further teachings and confirming his resurrection.

The Bible confirms this timeframe, stating that there were at least 40 days between his resurrection and ascension into heaven.

Significance of the Number 40

The number 40 has a significant meaning in the Bible, as it often represents a period of testing, trial, or preparation. Examples include the 40 days and nights of rain during the time of Noah, Moses’ 40 days on Mount Sinai, and the 40 years of wandering by the Israelites in the desert.

In the context of the post-resurrection period, the 40 days can be interpreted as a time of final instruction, preparation, and strengthening for the disciples before Jesus’ ascension.

This period allowed the disciples to fully understand and witness the fulfillment of the prophecies regarding the Messiah and his resurrection.

Ascension of Jesus

Ascension of Jesus

After His miraculous resurrection, Jesus Christ remained on earth for an additional 40 days, during which he continued to appear and speak to his followers (Acts 1:3). This period of time culminated with His Ascension, an event that marks Jesus’ return to Heaven and has significant implications for Christians.

Description in the Bible

In the narrative provided by the Holy Scriptures, Jesus gathered His 11 apostles on the Mount of Olives, outside Jerusalem. It was here, 40 days after the resurrection, that He would ascend (Acts 1:9).

As recounted in the New Testament, Jesus blessed His apostles and instructed them to spread the gospel throughout the world, promising that the Holy Spirit would soon be sent to guide them (Acts 1:4-5).

As Jesus was taken up into the sky, a cloud hid Him from the apostles’ sight. As they continued to gaze into the heavens, two angelic figures appeared and informed the apostles that Jesus would one day return in the same manner in which He had ascended (Acts 1:10-11).

Importance in Christianity

The Ascension of Jesus holds great significance within Christianity for several reasons. Firstly, it served to provide irrefutable proof of Jesus’ divinity and victory over death, strengthening the faith of His followers.

Secondly, it marked the end of Jesus’ direct earthly ministry, as He entrusted the task of spreading the good news to His apostles and the generations of believers that would follow.

Furthermore, the Ascension allowed for the coming of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost, which empowered the early church to carry out Jesus‘ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

Finally, the Ascension also represents the hope and anticipation of Jesus’ eventual return as described in the Second Coming, an event that holds great significance within Christian eschatology.

The Impact of Jesus’ Post-Resurrection Period on the Early Christian Church

an  Early Christian Church

After Jesus’ resurrection, He spent forty days on Earth before ascending to Heaven. This period played a crucial role in establishing the early Christian church and laying the foundation for its teachings and beliefs.

During this time, Jesus appeared to His disciples and followers, sharing His wisdom and experiences with them. He performed miracles and provided further insight into the teachings He had presented earlier.

Jesus Strengthened The Faith of His Followers

These post-resurrection appearances helped to strengthen the faith of His followers and reaffirmed the message of the Gospel. An example of this is Jesus’ appearance to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee, where He performed the miracle of the great catch of fish and reinstated Peter as a faithful follower.

Jesus Shared His Plans For The Future of The Church

Jesus also used this time to clarify His mission and the future of the church. He instructed His disciples to spread the message of the Gospel and the story of His resurrection throughout the world. This directive is famously referred to as the Great Commission:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:19-20, KJV)

Throughout the early Christian church, the resurrection of Jesus emerged as a cornerstone of their beliefs and teachings.

The preaching of the Apostles, as seen in Acts 1:22, put a strong emphasis on the importance of witnessing and testifying to Christ’s resurrection. This helped solidify the church’s understanding of the significance and power of this event in their faith.

In summary, Jesus’ post-resurrection period on Earth was vital for laying the groundwork for the early Christian church. It was during this time that disciples and followers strengthened their faith, received essential instructions from Jesus, and learned the importance of sharing the news of His resurrection.

As a result, the impact of Jesus’ post-resurrection period on the early Christian church is undeniable and has remained an essential component of its teachings and beliefs throughout history.

Related Read: What Year Did Jesus Die?

Final Thoughts

In summary, Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days after His resurrection, as documented in Acts 1:3. This period allowed Jesus to strengthen, teach, and confirm the faith of His disciples, which proved crucial in the establishment of Christianity.

During these 40 days, Jesus appeared to people, including devout believers and skeptics. This helped to solidify His followers’ conviction, allowing them to become the foundation of the early church.

As a result of these appearances and teachings during this period, Jesus’ followers were better prepared to carry on His mission after His ascension to heaven. The cornerstone of their faith, as well as the faith of billions of Christians across centuries, traces back to the resurrection and the subsequent events in those 40 days.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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