Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Bethany Bullet-Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Read John 20:19-23

There is a bit of a huddled, fearful disciple in each of us.

The disciples were fearful at the outset of the story because faith had put them in jeopardy. Jesus, at His arrest, had urged the soldiers to “let them go” as “he was the one they wanted.” Later that night one of their members had been identified as a follower of Jesus, certainly one from his party as he was a Galilean. They locked the doors, dimmed the lights, and stayed low and worried if they would be next.

That is when the story shifts in focus. All of the sudden Jesus is in their midst. He is risen from the dead. Of course, Easter changes everything. I do wonder however what the disciples’ emotional state was between the moments that their eyes saw Him and their voices heard Him?

If you trace your way through Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation…when one sees God they become a fearful, huddled mass:

  • Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they heard God, not behind a door but behind that from which they are made (a tree), for they were naked and ashamed.
  • Moses trembled not behind the bushes but in front of one that burned as God told him he was on holy ground.
  • Isaiah didn’t merely see that which was on fire, he felt it, as a coal from the altar touched his lips upon his vision of God, for he knew that he was an unclean man.
  • Saul didn’t experience a burning sensation on the mouth but upon the eyes as “Jesus of Nazareth, whom he was persecuting”, blinded him.

Over and over again when people see God they become huddled, fearful masses. After all when confronted with the holy, perfect, pure God we become keenly aware of how unholy, imperfect and impure we truly are.

So I wonder if for a moment when they first saw Jesus if the disciples weren’t more afraid than they had been previously. It had gone from bad to worse. They were afraid of the Jewish authorities and now the Authority for Jews and Gentiles alike stood before them. Faith had put them in jeopardy. Now had sin put them in peril? Remember they had fled, hid, lied, denied, and doubted…surely there was enough guilt to go around.

Then Jesus speaks, and he offers the one thing they needed. “Peace be with you.” He made no accusations, asked for no explanations, simply offered a declaration: “Peace is yours.” With the peace came a purpose, with the harmony came a destiny, and with the concord came a forward, “as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” I’ve come to get you out of this room and into the world that others might have peace, peace with God, and therefore peace of mind, peace of heart, peace with self in a world that lacks peace.

That same risen Lord does the same thing for us! He comes to grant us peace. In His Word, in worship, in the promise of forgiveness there is no requesting of explanations, no righteous accusations, only a declaration, “Peace is yours.” For your sin became His on the cross. Your guilt has been atoned for. Now with the peace comes a purpose, with this harmony comes a destiny, and with this concord comes a forward.

Jesus has entered your life that you might “leave it” and

enter the lives of others bringing, peace.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter