Reading: John 20:19-20
Verse 19: “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!'”
Our passage takes place on the first Easter Sunday. Friday and Saturday had been exceedingly hard days – the betrayal, arrest, trials, and crucifixion of their Lord, Jesus Christ. Then the long period of waiting – part grief and pain, part fear and confusion. Then, on the third day, news of resurrection. Peter and John saw the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene saw the risen Lord and she brings the disciples this good news. That was at sunrise. It is now evening. Imagine the emotions – hope and yet fear, joy and yet doubt. It is on this evening, with the disciples still hiding behind closed doors, that Jesus comes to them and says, “Peace be with you!” He offers proof, showing them the scars of crucifixion. It is all true: what Jesus said about rising in 3 days, what Mary Magdalene has said. All true! The disciples are overjoyed.
What is it that has you behind closed doors? What is it that is creating strong emotions in you? Life has a way of bringing us to places and situations where we feel a lot like those disciples felt on Sunday afternoon. Because of his perfect love, Jesus continues to come to us, transcending the doors we hide behind and the walls we build, reaching out those nail-scarred hands. When we need him most, if we will receive him and take that hand, Jesus will say to us, “Peace be with you!” In faith, may we take hold of that hand, allowing his peace and love to surround us.
Prayer: Lord God, in moments when I can cling to self or to other things of this world, help me to reach out and take hold of that hand. Pull me up out of the mire, the water, the chaos, and set my feet up on the rock. Guide me to trust first in you. Amen.