Peace Be with You
“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.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”
- John 20:19-20
This is the day of resurrection, a day of victory for the Lord and his followers. Mary Magdalene was the first to see the empty tomb and the first to encounter the risen Lord. She ran to tell the disciples what she had seen and heard. Peter and John also ran to behold the empty tomb. So, what did they do with this wonderful news? They ran and hid for fear of the Jews. Here, we find the disciples behind locked doors because they feared the Jews.
Once again, Jesus meets them in their doubt and their fear. This text does not tell us exactly how Jesus got into that room with the disciples. There is mystery and wonder left there. What we do know is that Jesus showed himself to the disciples. It was no longer Mary Magdalene’s testimony of Jesus being raised from the dead, but that of all those disciples huddled together that night.
Jesus not only came among them, but he brought peace to the fearful disciples: “Peace be with you”
(v. 19). This peace Jesus brings was the Jewish understanding of peace -- shalom
-- meaning a wholeness of being that comes as a gift from God. The Jewish people knew this shalom; it was what they sought and what set them apart from the other nations. God was among them, and where God was, his peace was also.
It is interesting that Jesus brings peace to their place of fear. He does not chide them for hiding, running, denying, or doubting. Instead, Jesus brings peace among them then shows them his hands and his side. Truly, he is the one who was crucified, dead, and buried. Yet, death did not have the final say over Jesus. As he promised, he had overcome death and the grave to bring them his peace.
Jesus would come among us today to speak these same words: “Peace be with you.”
It is his offering to all who will put their trust in him. Jesus can bring peace even in our places of fear, doubt, and pain. How do you need to experience his peace today? How does he want to meet you and reveal himself to you? Jesus longs for you to know the joy of his resurrection, to share in his victory, and to live in his peace. Through the wounds of Jesus, you are made whole. Reflection:
Ask the Lord how he would like to bring his shalom into your life today. He longs for you to know this sense of wholeness that can only come from him.
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