April 11, 2012

His Presence and His Peace

John 20:19-23

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
—John 20:19


Let’s say your high school team just lost the state championship. All the players stare at the floor, thinking about what they could have done differently. For a moment you think you will never get over it.

That night in Jerusalem was much worse. Black clouds of failure filled the room. How could the disciples succeed at anything now?

We can sum up the solution in two words: “Jesus came.” And Jesus didn’t come empty-handed. He brought with him some very significant gifts—and these are for us also.

First of all, Jesus gave the gift of his presence. “The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” Jesus was right there with them! His word is true that says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Young man, Mom, Grandpa, never forget it! He is not dead. He is alive, and he is here. As Betsy Ten Boom said from inside a prison, “There is no pit so deep but God’s love is deeper still.”

Jesus also gives his peace. To the disciples he said, “Peace be with you.” If we look back on our lives, we see the footprints of sin. But because of the cross, our shame, guilt, and failure are gone. The risen Lord offers you his peace: “Do not let your hearts be troubled… . I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:1, 6).

Risen Lord Jesus, thank you for being with us every moment and for offering us your peace. May our lives today be filled to overflowing with joy because of you. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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