John 20:19 ESV
John 20:20-31 ESV
Matthew 28:11-15 ESV
On Sunday evening (the same day Jesus raised from the dead) we learn from John 20:19
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Now, this had been an altogether stressful week for the disciples. The last few days in particular were over the top stressful.
Thursday night was the last time all twelve disciples were together in one room. In the upper room, they had their last supper.
At the beginning of the night all twelve disciples were in the upper room, but for some unknown reason, Judas left.
Jesus told them He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He told them the Holy Spirit was coming. He told them He is the vine. He reminded them the world has hated Him and will hate them. Jesus told them He would be leaving but their sorrow would turn to joy. He also told them He came from the Father and He has overcome the world.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus the High Priest spoke precious prayer words over them.
And then He was arrested.
He was taken from them and most of them scattered. Throughout the night Peter tried to keep track of where they took Jesus. Several times Peter was questioned and asked if He was one of the followers of Jesus. Peter was trying to hide, so he denied it. He just wanted to be left alone so he could see where they took Jesus.
Peter was able to find out that Jesus appeared before the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas, and then He was taken to Governor Pilate.
At some point a decision was made to crucify Jesus. He was beaten and flogged. Jesus had to carry His own heavy tree shaped in the form of a cross up to Golgotha, which is called the place of the skull. Late afternoon, they heard Jesus died.
John the beloved disciple was there.
They took Jesus’ body down and He was placed in the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimetha.
All was lost. The disciples didn’t know how this happened, or why. They didn’t understand. And, the worse part was that somehow Judas was involved. The remaining eleven disciples knew life would never be the same again.
They were right.
On Sunday morning the disciples were awakened with a shout. Mary Magdalene was shouting something about Jesus. At first they couldn’t understand what she was saying, but then as she got closer they heard her say she SAW Jesus.
What? What do you mean, you SAW Jesus? Mary said she SAW Him.
Then suddenly Jesus appeared in the room where the disciples had gathered. Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you.”
And, “When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:20-31).
And the disciples believed. They believed and they knew they were forgiven for everything. They had been so confused and so afraid but now they weren’t afraid anymore.
Everything was alright.
They were forgiven.
Jesus forgave them…for everything.
The disciples heard stories about what happened with others at the same time. Matthew heard that, “While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day” (Matthew 28:11-15).
The disciples wanted Jesus to know they didn’t know anything about His body and they didn’t have anything to do with it.
Yea, Jesus knew. He had heard the stories that were being circulated.
The disciples knew what happened was nothing short of a miracle.
Nothing like this had ever happened before.
They knew Jesus died.
They knew three days later He AROSE.
They didn’t know how it happened, but they knew it happened.
Jesus was back.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Believe
Embrace the story and thank God for the resurrection.
In God, Deborah