By Brooke Holt
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” John 20:19
Can you have peace in the face of a cancer diagnosis? Can you experience peace while your child is rebelling and seemingly lost? What about when your marriage is crumbling, or your church, or your business? Each of these situations can be excruciating and life-altering. The disciples were experiencing that kind of pain and confusion in our reading for today. Their beloved teacher, friend, and the one they believed to be the promised Messiah had been crucified three days ago. Now, Mary Magdalene has reported that Jesus is alive, that she saw him with her own eyes, and that Jesus sent her to them to tell the good news.
What do they do after hearing this glorious announcement from Mary? These once impassioned men remain in hiding. Fear had them trapped. If the Jewish leaders had crucified Jesus, what would they do to his followers?
Jesus met the disciples in their place of fear and hiding with a message of peace. Could these disciples truly feel peace after seeing what was done to Jesus? Could they feel peace while not knowing what their own fate will be? Could they experience peace even while not understanding how Jesus was raised from the dead? Could there be peace alongside fear, confusion, and uncertainty?
With Jesus the answer was a resounding yes. As Isaiah prophesied, Jesus was the Prince of Peace, the source of peace, and he spoke that peace to his overwhelmed friends (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus could offer them peace because he had just overcome sin, death, Satan, and all the forces of evil. Jesus would not change their outside world, but he would continue to change their inside world.
Today, Jesus wants you to experience his peace. He longs to meet you in your place of fear and uncertainty. Listen to his words, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). He is with you. Jesus sees you; he knows you; and he cares about every detail of your life. The one who overcame sin, death, and evil can bring peace to you today.
Can you allow Jesus to bring peace to the most challenging places in your life today? Can you trust him to be your source of peace in the uncertainty, trusting that he has gone before you and will stay beside you through all of it? Can you put your hope in the God who promises to never leave you nor forsake you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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