While [the disciples] were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
It had been a rough couple of days for the disciples. Altogether, they had betrayed, denied, and abandoned Jesus. They had doubted his promises and failed to understand his words about what would happen to him. They were slow to believe the reports about their Savior being alive. They were hiding in fear for their lives. What would Jesus say if he could see them now?
He could yell: “Where were you guys? In my hour of greatest need, you weren’t there for me! You abandoned me. Get out of my sight before I destroy you!” He could be sarcastic: “Thanks for nothing, guys. Looks like I didn’t pick the right ones to be my disciples. Looks like I will have to move on without you. Have a nice life.” He could insult their intelligence: “What is wrong with you idiots? How many times did I explain to you that this is how it was going to happen? How could you not have figured it out by now!”
Our Savior could have responded in any of those ways, but he didn’t. Instead, his words were full of grace. In love, patience, and comfort, Jesus said: “Peace be with you.” Peace. What an awesome word to hear from the Savior of the world! Peace is a beautiful word. It is a word that emphasizes that all is well between you and the holy God. It means that by faith in your Savior you now have fellowship with God. No longer are you at war with him. It means your sins have been removed and you can now approach him as his dear child. Peace with God means your conscience is at rest knowing that your sins have been forgiven in Jesus. This peace is an awesome blessing and it comes only through Jesus.
Has it been a rough couple of days for you? Have you been struggling with the same old sins that have tripped you up before? Have you failed to put your faith into practice? Have you allowed fear or doubt or worry to rule your heart and life? Confess those sins to your Father in heaven. Turn to your Savior and know that he will not lash out at you or berate you. Confess your sins to him confident of his love for you. The same Savior who was so patient with the disciples says to you today: “Peace be with you.”
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for sending Jesus to be my Savior. Thank you for the peace that he provides. Enable me to live as your forgiven child. Amen.