Reading: John 20: 19-31
Verse 26: Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you”!
The disciples are hiding in fear. The Jews just engineered Jesus’ death and they fear for their own lives. Jesus appears to them twice in today’s passage and both times begins with, “Peace be with you”! In the times of worry and fear and doubt, peace is a great gift. It is a gift we all treasure in the midst of the trial or in the storms of life. In faith we can release our fears… to God and His peace will replace all of those emotions and thoughts.
As Jesus offers the disciples peace, He also breathes the Holy Spirit on them. With the presence of the Spirit, the disciples will go forth into the world to spread the goods news of the resurrected and risen Jesus. We too receive the gift of the Holy Spirit when we confess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. With that confession we also receive the same charge to share the good news.
Jesus also empowers the disciples with the power to forgive people their sins. In this gift, followers of His can release people from all that entangles and hold them down. It is similar to releasing our fears… to God and allowing His peace to flow in instead. In sharing the hope and faith we find in Jesus, we are opening others up to feel the freeing power that comes when we accept the One who conquered sin and death as our personal Savior. We are not offering atonement for their sins through us, but we are inviting the lost and broken to come to Jesus so He can do that. He died on the cross to offer us all freedom from sin by paying for or atoning for our sins with His blood. The freedom of releasing our sins is also a way Jesus brings peace.
The hope and peace we find when we rest in Christ is a wonderful and amazing gift. May we offer Christ to all we meet so that they too may rest in His peace.