“Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”John 20:18-23 KJV
On the night when Jesus was arrested all the disciples except for Peter ran away in fear. Their actions were not a lack of love for Him but rather another fulfillment of scripture. Zechariah 13:6-7: “If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ “Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the Lord Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.”
Fulfilled in Matthew 26:31,56. This entire account in Zechariah speaks of the betrayal by Judas, the crucifixion and the scattering of His followers.
This is the reason why I stress intentional reading. The Old Testament is the New concealed, the New Testament is the Old revealed. When ignorant people say the Bible is contradictory, I just smile. If you’re truly studying the Word, you’ll find that’s the farthest thing from the truth. Jesus coming to earth was for the sole purpose of fulfilling and revealing Himself as the Word with skin on. As long as we remain ignorant of God’s Word, we will remain in the shadows. The importance of being filled with the Spirit of God is as pivotal to our success as Christians, as our heart is to our natural bodies remaining alive.
The first organ God placed in the human body is the heart. I wonder why? It’s the seat of every human emotion. No wonder He instructs us to guard it. Proverbs 4:23.
The Holy Spirit of God operating in us keeps the heart at peace with God. Fear had caused the disciples to scatter. Their safety net for three and half years had been violently murdered, and their association with Him had put a price on their heads. But even as they were hiding out, Jesus already foretold that none of them would be lost except for Judas. John 17:12. He showed up while they were hiding behind locked doors to speak peace to them. Not once but multiple times. When fear grips the heart, it can be paralyzing. All throughout scriptures, the first words spoken in unsettling situations by God and angels is peace.
A lack of peace will drive the strongest of us underground. This is why peace with God, ourselves and each other is vitally important to spiritual growth. The scriptures encourages us to live at peace, walk in peace, pursue peace. Why? Without peace nothing fits or works together. As a Christian, a lack of peace is one of the main ways to tell if something isn’t right between you and your Savior. Stop everything and go sit alone with Jesus. Get your peace restored at all costs.Peter was with his homeboys, but not until Jesus showed up and had a personal one on one with him, did he find lasting peace after the denial. When Jesus showed up in their hideout and spoke peace to the disciples, that’s when their peace returned. Everything changed at that moment.
They had now seen and received from their Master. Those hidden in the shadows had now been commissioned. I’m sending you! Jesus spoke peace to their fears. They no longer had to hide. Their Champion had arisen, they had proof. And now the world was about to witness the greatest outpouring of the promised Holy Spirit, a revival like the world had never seen. Those in the shadows were now emboldened to go out. I truly believe that we as children of God have been hiding in the shadows for a long time. We have been tight lipped about sharing the gospel out of fear of how we will be received. But Jesus has spoken peace, and it’s time for us to come out of hiding.
The whole world is coming out, being woke as they say. Why are we, the image bearers of Christ, still in hiding? Do you have peace with God? Do you have peace with others? Confident in Jesus’ finished work? Then come out from the shadows! Proclaim Him! Jesus has won the victory for us. It is well. Be filled with the Spirit! He is the authority we need to carry out Jesus’ mandate. Listen to the authority we have in Christ. Read it again in our main text. Verse 23. We have been entrusted with more authority than we’re walking in. While we’re cowering in fear of man, Jesus is saying you have the same power to forgive and remit sin. Did you read that? That’s humbling and powerful all at the same time. That’s how much He trusts us with the peace of His presence in the Holy Spirit.
We have a great commission and inheritance in Jesus Christ. His finished work has granted us access to do greater things. Are you experiencing a lack of peace? What’s unsettling you? Is it well with your soul and Savior? The answer is as close as your next breath. Let Him speak peace in the midst of your situation, then, COME OUT from the shadows! ALL IS WELL!
Father in the Name of Jesus, Even as you showed up to speak peace to the disciples, so speak peace to my heart right now. The situation I’m facing seems overwhelming, but Your Word reminds me that Your peace is available to me. By your Spirit, I receive fresh breath, I inhale and exhale Your life in me, and come out from the shadows to carry out Your great commission. In Jesus Name. Amen
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”Colossians 3:15
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit