Dear Church Family,
“ When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’” —John 20: 19-21
Christoph Blumhardt, who was a German pastor about 100 years ago, once wrote: “It is not the worst if some people are unable to believe that Christ rose from the dead—at least they still regard it as something tremendous, too tremendous to glibly confess. The sad thing is that so many people today claim to believe it, and yet it means so little to them. It has no effect in their lives.”
What do our lives look like if we not only claim to believe in Christ’s resurrection but also actually allow it to affect our lives? What happened to the disciples as they hid on Easter evening gives us a couple of answers. The first is this: while our default reaction is often fear, Jesus enters the situation and changes the default to peace; his peace. If we believe in his resurrection, truly believe it, then our lives move from our fear to his peace which, in turn, moves us to rejoicing.
A second thing their experience shows us is that we cannot remain unchanged. If we believe in Jesus and in his rising then what he taught was true: he actually does love us and call us to love on another; he actually did usher in God’s new kingdom—not fully of course—but, in him, it has begun and we can be a part of it even now; he actually does not leave us alone but, in fact, is with us always, even to the end of the age. If we believe them, these truths change us and we find ourselves sent out to share what we have experienced with others.
As God’s own children, brothers and sisters of the risen Christ, please let’s not experience Easter’s trumpets and triumph and have it mean so little. For Jesus has given us an opportunity for a life filled with peace and love, and saved us from lives of fear. How can we not help but rejoice?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I can scarcely understand your love. I can barely comprehend that your love points me to who God is. Help me understand, not so that I have figured it out, but so that I can live as a changed person. In your gracious name I pray. Amen.
May Christ’s Peace be with you this day,