Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Just a few days earlier, Jesus’ disciples had run away in fear, leaving him to face death alone. Among these disciples was one who had denied three times that he even knew Jesus. But now Jesus appeared to them, not to scold but to give his blessing: “Peace be with you.”
This is the amazing effect of Jesus’ work. Because of his death and resurrection, we can have peace with God. Though our sins are like scarlet, they can be as white as snow. Through Jesus, we can approach our Father with confidence.
Still, the disciples couldn’t believe it when Jesus appeared. They thought he was a ghost. So he gave evidence that his body was real flesh. Jesus said, “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see.” He gave the doubtful disciples proof, letting them touch his wounds. Then he ate some fish with them.
Jesus understands the weakness of our faith, and he bends low to help us, as if we were small children struggling to learn an amazing truth. Jesus exemplifies the words of Paul: “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
Today we are called to be patient with others, even as Jesus is patient with us. We must love and understand one another. We must “pass the peace” we receive from our Lord. Then our life as the church will be both nurturing to other believers and glorifying to our Lord.
Loving God, thank you for your grace, which always gives us love and peace. Help us to always be close to you. Hold us in your loving hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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