To the same apostles also, after his suffering, he presented himself alive with many convincing proofs. He was seen by them over a forty-day period and spoke about matters concerning the kingdom of God.
[Acts 1:3 NET]
This lingering for forty days is the crowning proof of Christ’s tender regard for His little flock. He who had laid down His life for them is loath to leave them. Though they had forsaken Him, and doubted Him, they had not wearied, much less had they worn out, His love. He stays to look again, and yet again, and yet again, upon them, as if turning back and lingering to bless them. It is all of a piece with His life of love. Everywhere He meets them without a touch of upbraiding, without recalling a single memory of all His bitter suffering, revealing Himself to the disciples with a tenderness and blessedness indescribably beautiful.
How can He go till He has healed the Magdalene’s broken heart? He must linger till poor Peter can venture near to have his forgiveness assured. He must stay to strengthen Thomas’ faith. He must tarry with them till He has made them feel that He is just the same friendly, brotherly Jesus that He has ever been, caring for them in their work, watching them with a yearning pity, stooping to kindle a fire for their warmth, and to cook the fish for their meal, and then to bid them come and dine.
~ Mark Guy Pearse ~