On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Peace be With You
So, what makes you nervous? What brings fear to your heart or anxiety? I would think that the possibility that your life could be in danger would make you afraid. Of course, guilt is powerful, too. A guilty conscience can cause lots of anxiety, lots of nervousness.
On Easter Sunday evening, Jesus’ followers had both issues. First, they thought their lives might have been on the line. After all, the Jewish religious leaders had put Jesus to death—how hard would it be for them to get the disciples? Additionally, they were struggling with guilt. For whatever reason, they hadn’t quite gotten it, hadn’t paid attention when Jesus told them he’d rise from the dead. Then, they got several reports that he HAD risen. If he really had, how would he deal with them? In anger and judgment?
Here is what the Bible says happened: “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, 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” (John 20:19,20).
In the place of fear, there was now forgiveness. Why? Because of the reality that Jesus had really died, Jesus had really risen. The sight of Jesus’ nail-scarred (but risen!) hands drove fear out of their hearts!
So picture Jesus: He’s standing in front of you, smiling, hands outstretched. You can see the nail scars on his hands. He says to you, “Peace be with you.” There in his word of peace, in his nail-scarred, risen hands—is the antidote to fear, all fear. For there, in the hands and words of Jesus—there is forgiveness.
Ah Jesus, my risen Savior, often I’m nervous and afraid. Forgive me! Focus my attention on your nail-scarred, risen hands, that I might see clearly that my sins are forgiven, and that I’m at peace with you. Amen.