Summary: When we look on our world we see all sorts of violence, terror and war. Innocent men, women and children caught up in situations way beyond their control so they flee for their lives. The Resurrection of Jesus brings peace - an inner peace.
The Resurrection Brings New Peace
What is the message of Easter for you this year? If you think about it the Easter message is very positive especially for those who live constantly in fear: fear of failure, fear of death, fear of so many things,…..
The first words Jesus uttered to his assembled and frightened disciples the first time He sees them after the resurrection was “PEACE BE WITH YOU!”
A Wise man once said, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you’ve started."
So he looked around the house to see all the things he had started and hadn’t finished ... and before leaving the house this morning he finished off a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white, the Prozac, some Valium, some cheesecake and a box of chocolates.
You have no idea how good he feltl!
Well that’s one road to peace, but I imagine that it will have worn off by the next morning.
Three times Jesus says, “PEACE BE WITH YOU!” to His disciples in that upper room behind locked doors, they were afraid, terrified that they would end up like their master, crucified or some other fateful death.
What Are WE Afraid Of?
A poll in America revealed that
54% are afraid or very afraid of being in a car crash.
53% are afraid or very afraid of having cancer.
49% are afraid or very afraid of not having enough money for retirement.
Is the world a safer place NOW, than it was when we were growing up? …. 9 out of 10 who were asked said, No!
“What are you afraid of?” What do you fear?
John returned home from a long trip to Europe, having left his cat in his brother’s care.
The minute he clears customs, he calls his brother and inquires after his pet.
“The cat’s dead,” replies his brother bluntly. John is devastated… “You don’t know how much that cat meant to me,” he sobs into the phone.
“Couldn’t you at least have given a little thought to a nicer way of breaking the bad news?
For instance, couldn’t you have said, ‘Well, you know, the cat got out of the house one day and climbed up on the roof, and the firemen couldn’t get her down, so she died of exposure or starvation … or something’?
“Why are you always so thoughtless?”
“Look, I’m really sorry,” said his brother. “I’ll try to do better next time, I swear.”
“Okay, let’s just put it behind us. How are you, anyway? How’s Mum?”
There was a long pause. “Uh,” the brother finally stammers, “Uh…Mum’s on the roof.”
Jesus said, “Peace Be with You”
From beginning to end, the life and ministry of Jesus revolved around the message of peace.
And He certainly fulfilled the prophet Isaiah who spoke of Him as one who would come as the “Prince of peace,” (Isa. 9:6).
At his birth, the angels shouted words of praise saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace.” (Luke 2:14).
Now Jesus comes to his disciples with the words “Peace be with you.”
In both the OT and NT “peace” means “order, harmony, and spiritual well-being.” This is what Jesus came to give, “order, harmony, and spiritual well-being.”
The peace that Jesus came to bring was not simply peace of mind, but peace of life as well.
His desire was to bring peace that could come only through a relationship with God.
“My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27b NIV).
His peace takes away the fear that is so much a part of living, indeed it was fear that brought the disciples together behind locked doors.
And Jesus enters the room to give them the only thing that can take fear away, “Peace be with you.”
Thomas was not with the disciples the first time Jesus appeared to them.
And doubting Thomas needed proof before he could enjoy the peace.
He would not believe until he saw Jesus with his own eyes and touched Him with his own hands. His peace was based on proof.
We often live our lives with the attitude of Thomas. “God, I won’t believe that you are real until you show me, or do this for me.”
There were 2 old men who worried if there’s football in heaven, and promised each other that the first to die will somehow let the other one know.
A week later, one of them dies. And a week after that, his friend recognises his voice coming down from the clouds.
“Joe, I’ve got some good news and some bad news,” the disembodied voice said.