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!”
Jesus’ disciples were paralyzed by fear. They were afraid of the Jewish leaders. They were afraid because they thought they were alone and didn’t know what was going to happen next. It was during this time of fear when Jesus appeared to them. No longer held by death and the grave, he came to offer them exactly what they needed. And it is exactly what you and I need.
I need Jesus’ peace because I am terrified by my enemies. The devil tries to confuse me. The world tries to corrupt me. Even my sinful nature tries to lead me into despair.
I need Jesus’ peace because I realize it is impossible for me to stand before God as he desires. He is without sin, and I am sinful. He desires perfect obedience, and I bring before him my disobedience. He longs to be my Lord and Master, but I rebel.
I need Jesus’ peace because I know how weak I am. Daily I struggle with sinful distractions and deceptions. Daily I lack the ability to stand my ground against the devil’s deadly temptations. Daily I am troubled by my guilt.
I desperately need Jesus’ peace. How blessed I am that he comes to me with his precious reassurance: “Peace be with you!” Because he established this peace which guards my heart and life, I can find rescue and relief. His peace removes my fear of enemies, reconciles me to God the Father, and renews me in my struggle with temptation. His peace reminds me I am not alone.
When I am paralyzed by my fear, I need to remember I have a victorious, powerful, and ever-living Savior. He comes to me with the very words I need to hear and trust: “Peace be with you!”
O gracious and living Savior, I need your presence, your power, and especially your peace. Give me the strength of faith to rely on the gifts of your love and the reassurance of your peace. Amen.