Daily Bulletin 4/25/19
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, it is really I. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”( Luke 24:35-48)
Today we see the full conclusion of the Emmaus story As the two disciples recount what had just happened to them on their journey, and in the breaking of the bread, the same risen Jesus stands in their midst and imparts His “Peace” to the gathered disciples. What is the meaning of this greeting here and in the other resurrection accounts?
To answer that, we need to look to ourselves, to all that disturbs our inner peace. Think of all the things that cause you to lose peace. Think of all the things that test your trust and confidence in God. Think of events or circumstances that make you feel sad and hopeless. Think of all these things and you put yourself squarely in the midst of these earliest Christians. Jesus has the same message for all of us: “Peace be with you.”
The fullness of Christ’s victory over sin and death is communicated to us by the one word “peace.” When this greeting, even this command, comes from the lips of Jesus it scatters all of our darkness, suspends all of our fears, and sets us free to rejoice in His triumph, because it is also ours.
Once the Apostles go out from the upper room and into the world, they are going to need tremendous inner peace in their mission. Their strength will come from the peace that Christ has bestowed on them—not as the world gives it, but as Jesus does. Worldly peace depends entirely on circumstances. It is contingent on things going well for us. God’s peace means that even if the whole world is against us, it really doesn’t matter. He has overcome the world. He is with us, for us, defending and advocating for us.
Jesus doesn’t mean that once we have this conviction, our troubles will cease, that there will be no further cause for sorrow and worry, but that we will have the peace to take it all with the strength that comes from His victory. We will hear the Lord’s voice come across our troubled waters, through locked doors, through fear and trembling, saying: “Peace, be still. I am risen and with you always.”
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, bring me your Easter peace. Let me share in your victory over sin and death. May I live for you alone.