John 20:19-23: The secret of peace.(please click for passage)

Fear keeps many a door locked. Think about the damage done in relationships; the ways we lock people out – often through fear. We have already seen that Jesus is not limited by our locked doors.

As I prayed though this section earlier today, I thought, ‘’When people come to church they are wanting to see Jesus (12:21). This is the longing in their hearts. So may my preaching answer that deep need.’’ The vision of Jesus is indissolubly linked to the experience of profound joy (20).Someone described joy as ‘’the serious business of heaven’’. But it begins even now as Jesus walks into your room (19) and shows Himself to you; when He breathes His Spirit into you and speaks peace upon your life. What a glorious, life-changing thing it is to meet Jesus. You don’t have to literally see Him with your eyes, or ear Him with your ears to know that you have encountered Him. However, I remember hearing the story of a prisoner, lying in his cell one night, and Jesus came through the walls and spoke to him.He’s not the only person, by any means, to have had such a vision. It’s an interesting thought that after the Lord ‘’showed them his hands and side’’ the next thing it says is that ‘’they saw the Lord.’’ If you see Jesus – really see Him – you will see His cross; see that His wounds were for you. To truly see Jesus means that you will see that He died for you. To see the Lord is to see that the heart of what He came to do centres on the work of Calvary.

Twice in this short section Jesus says, ‘’Peace be with you!’’ (19b, 21). In between those statements, what did Jesus do? ‘’…he showed them his hands and side’’ (20a). The cross is central to peace. There can be no experience of ‘shalom’ without ‘’Christ crucified’’ (Ephesians 2:14, 17). We need Jesus, today, to breathe His Spirit on us if we are to know His Presence, hear His voice, see His sacrifice and go out on His mission. The words in verse 23 do not mean that we can bestow forgiveness, but we can announce it. We can say to people who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus that they are forgiven.

PRAYER: ‘’O Breath of God breathe on us now, and move within us as we pray.’’