Summary: As we continue in the easter series- we realize that God desires peace for us, and removes the guilt of sin, the fear of death, and gives us His presence to remove all doubt.
Concordia Lutheran Church
Second Sunday in Easter, April 10, 2010
Let Us REJOICE in His/our Message!
† IN JESUS NAME †
As we realize that the grace, the mercy and the peace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ has created in us life as the Holy Spirit has breathed life into us, let us rejoice!
Hava negilah time!
Last week, I introduced or perhaps re-introduced some of you, to the concept of Hava Negilah – that phrase that invites us rejoice in the new creation that God has established with the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death.
As we travel through the post-resurrection accounts, we are going to keep on seeing this incredible joy, as the apostles and disciples realize that not only are their hopes drowned in grief, but restored and increased. They have witnessed the death of Christ, and they are witnesses to His incredible resurrection.
Even as they try to process this, even as they realize that because Christ conquered death, death will never conquer them, the scriptures describe the euphoria, the excitement, the incredible relief, the inexpressible emotions that flood them,
Let’s say that most translations understate this. Like the ESV which we have in our bulletins. Verse 20 describes it this way, “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”
Glad? Not ever quite glad? Glad?
Sorry. If the man I invested 3 years of my life, abandoned my job, and to an extent my family to trapse around the desert with, as I saw him teach like no other, heal like no other; if He was brutally executed like a common criminal, and he appeared – alive, physically, I think I would dance with joy!
O wait – that’s what rejoice actually means. Hava Negilah – Let us rejoice! For Christ has Risen!
As we look at the gospel today, there is something incredible going on, for the message, the good news of Christ, the very message that He came to deliver, is summed up in His greeting.
“Peace be with you!”
Peace be with You
He is there
The Holy Spirit is given
Sin ain’t stopping His presence, or His peace
Now don’tcha know – others need to know this peace!
Peace be with you! Rejoice Concordia – the peace of God is with you! That is the message that was handed down to us, the message that Christ brought from the Father to 12 very different guys, who brought it to the world of their day. God protected that message, throughout the years, and it brought hope to some of the worst sinners in history. Until it came to us, this day, here.
Peace be with you! Rejoice Peace is with you!
They start to grasp this message, as they are there, locked in the upper room – completely devastated by the events of a few days before. Locked in the room, to protect them from both the Jews and the Romans, for the city is probably all abuzz with the news that the body is now missing, they wonder if they are safe….
He is there. Not just spiritually, He is there. In their presence. One early church father put it incredibly. Roughly paraphrased, “The God who was able to enter Mary’s womb and be called Immanuel, was able to enter the room and prove to them that God is with US!”
And they rejoiced – they were ecstatically glad!
The rejoicing doesn’t end there – it will continue, for Jesus breathes on them, and these men are commissioned – sent with a message. Filled with the Holy Spirit, they are able to make this message known by doing something incredible – forgiving the sins of anyone – by the command of God, they can erase the sin of debt.
Sin no longer has the power to destroy the peace of God. The peace that is with you!
All of that weight, the burden of sin that so binds us, is taken away. We can know peace – for that message was to be passed down and has been. Your sin, and the sin that has been committed against, destroyed even as the power of sin which is death, has been destroyed by God the Father, as He raised Christ from the dead.
So let us rejoice! Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead! Hava Negilah! The Peace of God is with you!
Peace be with You – Thomas
A life that is not peaceful
We want Jesus to judge him – don’t we?
But Jesus first says – Thomas – Peace be with you!
Oh and by the way – others won’t need the marks… just go tell em!
Just in case we don’t get it, the scriptures even provide for us in Thomas, an incredible object lesson.