In spite of the fact that Jesus had appeared to certain individuals following His resurrection, the disciples as a group are still in a place of extreme negativity. But in the verses of Scripture below, we read of a life-transforming experience that took place when Jesus came among them, collectively. Today, the same Risen Lord Jesus transforms our lives and, as He did with His own disciples, sends us out to change the world around us.
READ: John 20:19-31 – Jesus Appears to His Disciples
Have you ever been to an event (maybe a concert or a sporting occasion) and it was one of those times when you were so glad that you were actually there!!
Going back to the verses we have just read, I suspect that those disciples present, wouldn’t have missed this occasion for the world!!
When we encounter the Risen Lord Jesus our lives are changed because:
Jesus GIVES us:
NEW PEACE (20:19) – Jesus didn’t rebuke His followers for their unbelief, but He speaks ‘Peace’ to them. It’s more than just a word of reassurance. The Hebrew word is ‘Shalom’, and there are 3 areas of ‘shalom’:
Eternal Peace – peace with God
Internal Peace – peace with ourselves
External Peace – peace with others.
This ‘peace’ changes the lives of these fearful, anxious followers of Jesus and can do the same for us today. Jesus also gives us:
NEW HOPE (20:20) – Mary, at the tomb, and the followers walking back to Emmaus had lost their hope. But now as He makes himself known to the disciples they are filled with hope. Death had been defeated and there is hope beyond the grave – something that is certain. With that new hope came:
NEW JOY (20:20) – ‘the disciples were filled with joy’ – there is a difference between happiness, which depends on our circumstances, and a joy which comes from a relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus.
Not only are we filled with new Peace, Hope and Joy, but we are changed to go out and change the world. So…..
2) Jesus SENDS us out with:
a) NEW PURPOSE (20:21) – This is the language of ‘mission’, and the disciples would soon experience that for themselves as they would, through the power of the Holy Spirit, take the message of Jesus to the world around them.
b) NEW POWER (20:22) – God ‘breathed’ the Holy Spirit into the disciples as a sign of new life. They were given ‘power to serve Him’ in the world around them. Jesus also gave them:
c) NEW AUTHORITY – In John chapters 14-16, Jesus promises that He would send ‘another Helper’ – (the Holy Spirit) and the Holy Spirit would empower them for ‘mission’. The same Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of followers of Jesus today.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming into my life and giving me a new peace, new hope and new joy. As I seek to live out my faith, thank you that you empower me through the Holy Spirit. May I seek to honour you as I walk with you on my journey of faith. Amen.