Apr. 2, 2013
It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
It is Easter night. The disciples are holed up in the Upper Room, still scared for their lives. They are afraid to go out, anticipating that if they do, maybe they will be arrested and put to death like their good friend Jesus was. Peter and John left briefly to go to the tomb. But they quickly returned, not quite what to make of the empty tomb.
It is now evening. We’re not told how Jesus appeared in the room with them; just that he did. He stood amongst them, waiting for the disciples to take in the full weight that he was alive! For confirmation that it really was him, Jesus shows them his pierced side and his hands where the nails went through.
Listen to his first words: “Peace be with you.” Jesus knows they aren’t going to be terribly comfortable with his presence. They could get scared and crazy quickly. To prevent this, he begins by offering them peace.
These words must have been joy to the disciple’s ears. Peace! Who doesn’t want peace? After several tumultuous days, we can only imagine how the disciples desired for peace. And this is what Jesus gives them first. He knew exactly what they needed.
When life is complicated and overfull, do we not want peace? In the last several months of school shootings, church shootings, movie theater shootings and home shootings, doesn’t peace sound too good to be true? If I were a Sandy Hook survivor, a member of the Sikh Temple in Milwaukee or at the movies the night 16 people were killed at the Century 16 Movie Theater in Colorado, peace would seem hard to imagine.
Peace can be found in this world today: in the loving arms of Jesus. Jesus extends peace to us every day. His words were not only for the disciples; they are for us today. We choose whether to hear them.
Too often, peace seems so elusive. We search for it in so many places rather than from the One who can bring us peace. Quiet our souls this day. Surround us with a shroud of peace. Amen.