Continue reading John 20. Where did Thomas need peace? (vv.24-29). How did Jesus offer it to him?
Where is your soul dark or sorrowful or fearful? What does God’s peace, in Jesus, speak into those places?
It was dark. The garden was dark. The mood was dark. Jesus had risen, but the Light hadn’t flooded in . . . not yet. John and Peter had seen an empty tomb, and in it they found only folded grave clothes. The one who actually claimed to have seen Jesus was Mary Magdalene. Most of the disciples must have wondered if the tears, grief, and early morning shadows hadn’t played a few tricks on Mary’s mind. So the disciples were huddled together behind locked doors—huddled in fear.
And why shouldn’t they have been fearful? Faint-hearted? Spooked? The revolution had died. The religious leaders had exacted revenge, and the Romans had dropped the iron fist.
Then Jesus appeared! There He was, standing in the middle of this timid band. We’re not told how Jesus entered. He simply did. He was not there—and then He was. And His words were direct: “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19). Peace. When Jesus had appeared to Mary, He spoke against her sorrow: “Dear woman, why are you crying?” (John 20:15).
Jesus now stood in their midst speaking a reality—peace—into existence. For Jesus, peace is the atmosphere of the kingdom of God, and God’s kingdom was what He was standing and declaring. Peace.
Jesus’ next move was to pull back His robe and offer His wounds to the disciples’ plain view, showing them His pierced hands and ripped-open side. Is this a strange scene, connected to a declaration of peace? Jesus’ peace is not a way of avoiding what is most heinous or disturbing. The peace Jesus offers is no stranger to violence or abandonment or dread. Quite the opposite, it was won on a brutal cross.
And Jesus now stands in the midst of your nightmarish terror, fully alive, pierced hands outstretched, naming your reality. Peace.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Daniel 2:1-24
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