The Herald Weekly Vol XVII : 16

Consider The Risen Christ

His Peace, Power, and Purpose (John 20:19-23)

The 27 books in the New Testament presents Jesus as One who is alive, risen from the dead, and He is the central, living reality in the universe today. He is 100% God and 100% Man.

The First Easter morning, as recorded in John’s gospel, relates how Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:1-18), and later to all the disciples (the 11 apostles) at one time. In John 20:19, there are three things to take note of: the doors are locked; the disciples are frightened; and Jesus came to them and stood in their midst. These three facts help us know how we should view our risen Lord.

1. The Doors Were Shut.

“…the doors were shut…came Jesus and stood in their midst…” Jesus was there in the room with His disciples without having to knock or open the door. He was not a ghost as He showed them His hands and His side. He has a physical body, but not exactly like ours; the same, yet different. He was simply there, in spite of the closed doors. This means that Jesus, being resurrected, can go where no one else can. There is no one else like Him in the universe. He is alive, and He is the one and only God-Man. We cannot imagine what He is capable of. He said, “I am with you always even unto the end of the world.” (Matt 28:20). I pray that none of us would try to shut the doors of our lives to Jesus. If you have been shutting Christ out of your life, please open your heart again, and let Him come in.

2. The Disciples Were Afraid.

John 20:19 says “…the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews…” The disciples’ fear is totally understandable as their Master was taken away from them to be crucified on the cross. But in the midst of this atmosphere of fear, Jesus entered the bolted room. He came to take away the fear from His disciples. Jesus can do the same for us. Is there anyone who is afraid of failure, illness or disease, or are you afraid of the uncertainties of the present life, the unknown future? Christ says, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (Jn 14:1). The risen, living Christ will come to you when you cry out to Him in your fear. He comes near us with the promise: “Fear thou not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, I am your God, I will help you: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa 41:10). Jesus Christ will do this for you, if you receive Him into your life.

3. Jesus Came to Them and Stood in Their Midst.

John 20:19: “…the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst…” After He resurrected from the dead, Jesus wanted His followers to see and know Him, to believe in Him and love Him. That is what He wants for us today. The Apostle Paul indicated: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil 3:10-11). Jesus is standing in our midst today, and every day of our lives. If we have received Christ, are we aware that He is near us, and living within us? He stands with His people every day, guiding and directing the way that we should walk; making right decisions that would please Him.

A Peace Accomplished

Jesus said to His eleven disciples within closed doors, “Peace be unto you.” (Jn 20:19,21) He mentioned that twice. They did not initiate peace. Jesus initiated peace with them and us. The Apostle Paul explained the peace Jesus has attained for us: “For He [Jesus] is our peace, who hath made both one (Jew and Gentile] . . . that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” (Eph 2:14-18).

The peace that Jesus offered the disciples is peace that He accomplished when He died for them on the cross. Paul explained His work on the cross for our benefit – that Christ reconciled us to God through the cross, thereby killing the previous hostility. All the hostility between God and us was taken away on the cross. Peace between us and God was established through His death. Praise the Lord!

Peace In Our Lives

There are five relationships where the crucified and risen Christ brings peace into our life:

1. Peace between us and Christ Himself.
2. Peace between us and God.
3. Peace between us and others who are in Christ (Gal 3:28).
4. Peace between us and our own souls (Heb 9:14).
5. Peace with the world (Col 1:19-20; Isa 9:7).

“Peace with Jesus. Peace with God the Father. Peace with others in Christ. Peace with ourselves; and peace with the world. It was an amazing achievement; and all for us in Christ’s resurrection.” (J Piper)

The opposite of peace is conflict. The opposite of power is weakness. The opposite of purpose is aimlessness.

Many, many lives are ruined by conflict, weakness, and aimlessness. Jesus did not come into the world to die and rise again to ruin our life, but to save it. He saves us from ruining our lives by becoming our peace and our power and our purpose Himself.

Make Jesus your peace, strength and purpose in life this Easter.

Pastor Bob Phee
(1st printing 5 May 2015)

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