As we approach the week of Easter, let’s consider how the appearance of the risen Christ impacted and transformed the lives of his followers.
On the morning of the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the women at the tomb, and upon hearing the news of the resurrection; some of the disciples visited the tomb and found it empty. The disciples’ knowledge of the empty tomb and even the words that Jesus spoke before his death regarding his resurrection still did not change their understanding of what had transpired.
On the evening of the resurrection, we find the disciples afraid and locked in a room fearing what the ruling religious authorities would do to them.
Today, much of the world finds itself in a similar situation. We are quarantined. We are living behind closed doors, and for many people, isolation is their reality. We find ourselves afraid, locked in our houses and fearing what the global pandemic could do to us.
Behind their locked doors, the disciples sat in fear, and in this moment of fear, we read these life altering words, “Jesus came and stood among them.” He then spoke directly to their fear. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then with a heart of compassion and love that only a Savior could show, he showed them his wounds, and without reprimanding them for their fear or lack of belief, he spoke the words that launched the greatest movement the world has known. “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” He breathed on them, and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." Then he instructed them on how to forgive.
Jesus came and stood among them. As much of the world trembles in fear and wonders what will happen, Jesus comes and stands with us. The resurrected Christ speaks to our fears. He speaks to every circumstance. He speaks to every job loss, every illness, every uncertainty, and every hopeless situation. He says, “Peace be with you.”
This Easter, may we hear the news of the resurrection, see the empty tomb, and rather than hide behind our locked doors, may the knowledge that Jesus stands with us and brings us peace embolden us to be sent to our friends, families, and neighbors so that they too may experience the transformation that the risen Christ brings.