Jesus Appears to His Disciples

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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, “Received the Holy Spirit.                             John 20:19-22

On the first day of the week, the Risen Jesus appeared to His disciples. They were heartbroken, in low spirits, and afraid of the Roman authorities. The disciples must have been overjoyed at Jesus’ appearance. Amid their indescribable heartache, the living Jesus appeared to comfort them in their sorrow. His appearance also coincided with a time when the disciples lived in great fear. They didn’t want the godless world to witness their raw grief and sorrow for the loss of their beloved Master.

Jesus appeared when His disciples were at a point where deep sense of despair threatened to overwhelm them. There were countless questions in their hearts that cried out for answers: Why? Why did He have to suffer so? Why did He have to die so brutally? And in the meantime doubt was eating away their hearts. But now, with Jesus there, everything was good again. “peace be with you!” There are times in each of our lives when we are threatened by despair and doubt, but in the presence of Jesus there is rest and peace. The disciples were together when Jesus appeared to them. It is comforting when like-minded people are together to share their sorrow or doubt. It is called the fellowship of believers. Christ comforts them with the words, “Peace be with you.”

The words of Donald Bloesch: Our peace and confidence are to be found not in our empirical holiness, not in our progress toward perfection but in the alien righteousness of Jesus Christ that covers our sinfulness and alone makes us acceptable before a holy God.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

“Father, Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit”

Luke 23b.png It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shinning. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the woman who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.                               Luke 23:44-49

It is true the man that walk among the disciples and mankind, has been crucified. These words that Jesus spoke from the cross were as follows, the first three where about His love for humankind. Then came the godforsaken cry, the heartrending, “I am thirsty!” the triumphant, “It is finished” and the final words of Jesus, Into your hands I commit My Spirit!” The work of salvation was perfectly and finally concluded, we can now be taken to God and never be forsaken by Him.

Jesus’ deathbed was a new cross, but there we learn how to die worthily. First, Jesus bowed his head in humble obedience to God’s will and with calm acceptance of what God inflicted upon him. How readily we question God’s will. Here Christ set the example of how to accept God’s will, even if it was a merciless and brutal death on the cross.

Secondly, Christ surrendered His Spirit to God. With this he, without uttering a word, said that His death was not his fate, but his privilege. This differs dramatically from those who don’t know God as Father (Abba). In their dying hours they are filled with anxiety and are deeply disturbed in spirit. 

Let us reflect on Jesus’ words on the cross and rate them at their true value. They are at times more serious and deeper than the words He spoke in his lifetime. In order to understand and appreciate salvation and redemption, we must understand and appreciate what Jesus said in His dying moments. 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends