Scripture Reading — John 20:1-23
The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!” — John 20:20-21
Can we even imagine the disciples’ state of mind? Many of Jesus’ followers had scattered, and his closest disciples were hiding behind closed doors in fear of the religious authorities. Their Rabbi (“Teacher”) had been crucified. They had believed in him as the Messiah (the “Anointed One”), their promised deliverer. Had it all been “too good to be true”?
Sure, they had heard Mary’s message that Jesus had risen. Peter and John had run to see the now-empty tomb, but that wasn’t the same as seeing Jesus alive. Was Mary mistaken? Had she imagined seeing Jesus in the garden? Had others taken the body? Good news can seem so unbelievable! Crucified and buried men don’t walk out of graves! Were they being asked to believe the impossible?
Jesus didn’t keep his disciples waiting long. That evening, “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’” He stood, and he spoke. He showed them his wounds. He greeted them with a familiar blessing. Jesus gave them the peace and presence they had been missing. And they were overjoyed. Things had not been the way they were supposed to be, but now they were!
Today we too celebrate that God is with us! Christ has risen! He is alive, and he lives in us! Hallelujah! Peace is possible!
With whom can you share this good news today?
Resurrected Savior, as we rejoice in your victory over death, please inspire us to share the good news of peace and new life with God forevermore. In your powerful name, Amen!