Prepare – John 20:19-23 (Sunday)
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
During the forty days after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to over 500 people. We only have a few of those encounters recorded for us in scripture. In John 20, we see three of those encounters including Mary, the disciples, and Thomas.
After Jesus had appeared to Mary, He then appeared to the disciples. More than likely the word disciple in verse 19 was referring to more than just the apostles. Regardless, these followers of Jesus had locked themselves away in a room in fear of the Jews. Remember their actions the previous Friday night when Jesus their friend, their Savior, was dying on the cross and they all ran away? So now, when Jesus came and stood among them, they were probably a little nervous as to how he might react to them. But instead of rebuking them because of their lack of faith and lack of courage, Jesus spoke words of comfort to them by saying “Peace be with you!” I highly doubt that the disciples were expecting Jesus to say what He did!
Here were the disciples locked in a room, possibly designing a plan to escape the city and the Jews attack on them for associating with Jesus of Nazareth. While they were scheming in the quietness of the night, Jesus appeared before them.
The world knows no peace! The world offers no peace. The peace of Christ can only be found in a relationship with Him. It is a peace that drives out all fear and brings comfort to the broken hearted. There is no need for worry when the peace of Christ rules in your heart. The same peace he offered a room full of disciples who were shaking in their boots is the same peace offered to us. He says to us – “Peace be with you”.
Is the peace of Christ ruling in your heart today? The tomb is empty so your heart and mind can be filled with the peace of Christ today…right now!
~ Pastor Andy Veith