"Peace be with you!" (John 20:19)
After Jesus spoke His final word, after He breathed His last breath, He was removed from the cross and placed in a tomb. At last, this man, whose words so angered and discomforted the religious leaders had been silenced. But, was He really silenced? You see, the words from the cross would not be Jesus' final words. The powerful and joyous message of Easter is that there are words beyond the cross......there are resurrection words. Let me ask you a question, do you think the disciples could have used some peace in their lives? Jesus had just died, His body removed from the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb. The disciples went into hiding behind locked doors. They were fearful of the Jewish leaders (John 20:19) because they had just engineered the execution of their teacher and the Roman allies usually sought to stamp out followers of leaders they regarded as treasonous. But their fears do not take into consideration Jesus' promise to return to them, which they do not believe. They became like secret believers whose faith was controlled by fear instead of the public faith they had displayed in happier times. But now Jesus stands among them. Not to reprimand them for deserting Him (Mark 14:50), but to offer them peace at a time when they need it most. Not only did this serve as encouragement to them, but it also serves as encouragement to you and I as we face hardships in our lives.+
Can you use peace in your life? Peace is precisely what the resurrected Jesus brings to each of us. He doesn't promise wealth or good health. He doesn't promise prosperity or power. He doesn't promise the absence of conditions that intimidate us. He doesn't promise the absence of opposition, the absence of fear, or the absence of difficulty. He doesn't promise us an exemption from turmoil, danger, or duress. What Jesus does promise is peace....."Peace be with you!" (John 20:19).
Jesus does not give peace as the world does. The world is full of hatred, selfishness, bitterness, malice, anxiety, and fear. Every attempt at peace by what the world offers is futile and rapidly swamped. But, there is good news. Jesus has overcome the world and, in doing so, offers all of us peace. A peace that prevails in our moments of fear, in our times of adversity, even as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. So, take heart, and begin to share His peace......"Peace be with you!"