Jesus came to give us peace and hope
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’
– John 20:19-23
When things become cloudy and you feel like you are alone in the world, your life seems to be going nowhere, and you are overwhelmed with fear, there is a way out of your dilemma. Jesus, the peacemaker, will comfort you and give you peace. His presence will calm your fears and wipe away all your tears.
Two Sundays ago, we celebrated the miracle of miracles. We returned to the grave site of our Lord and examined the empty tomb. The miracle of miracles happened early in the morning. The empty tomb was discovered in the morning.
In the resurrection, the cross, which is a symbol of suffering and shame, was exchanged for the crown of victory. It was on Sunday morning that death lost its sting and the grave was robbed of victory.
Yet, by Sunday evening, all the joy and happiness of the empty tomb had waned. In fear, despair, and disappointment, the disciples locked themselves behind closed doors.
Fear and despair often put us in the predicament of the disciples. In fear of the outcome, we hide behind the locked doors or our disappointment and disillusionment.
However, in such times, we don’t need to despair. We have a savior who is Christ the Lord.
He is the first born from the dead. He is with us and will always be with us.
As Christians, it does not matter how much trouble we see in this life, we still have the gift of peace. This peace was given when he appeared to the frightened disciples locked away from the authorities on that special evening of the resurrection. He appeared behind those closed doors and greeted his disciples with “Shalom,” peace – “peace be with you.”
That peace which he gave that evening is a peace that surpasses all human understanding. That is a peace that the governments of the world cannot give.
In this world of sin and woe, we see peace as the absence of hostility. However, the peace which Jesus brings is not necessarily the absence of hostility. When the evening clouds of fear hang over our heads, his peace gives us power and strength to live in the midst of hostility.
Jesus said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
When he said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” As he sent the disciples, he sends us, you and me to share his peace with the people of the world.
Don’t be afraid to share it. Don’t be ashamed to tell of the good things that Jesus did in your life. Remember, this peace which surpasses all understanding is for all people.
As the Prince of Peace, Jesus brought about the peace that now exists between God and man. And now he offers that peace to us. He says to each of us, “Shalom.”
Remember, these are not the words of a mortal man. They are words of power, which grant the peace of which they speak. Peace is ours. The life, the death and the words of Jesus make it so. Yes, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came into this world to give us peace and hope. Amen!
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau,119 John F. Kennedy Drive can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.