Read: Luke 24:36-49
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36, NIV)
What strikes fear in your heart? If we were to list our fears, they would probably fill a page or two of this booklet: heights (that’s my personal favorite), spiders, creepy crawly things, snakes, closed spaces, crowds, loneliness, hate filled speech, ghosts, the unknown; we could go on.
The disciples were afraid. They were afraid of the authorities, certain that those who had arrested, tried, convicted, and put their Master, Jesus, to death, would soon be coming for them. They were afraid of their uncertain futures. They had left everything to follow Jesus: family, vocation, home. They did not know what tomorrow held for them. They were afraid! Now, this “empty tomb thing”, they knew they would be blamed; these reports of Jesus’ appearances; what did it mean?
Their fear held them in tight bondage. They were found locked away, windows shuttered, doors padlocked and bolted against their uncertainty. Fear does that to us all, it makes us withdrawn, captives to “who-knows-what”!
Suddenly, he is right there with them. Jesus is standing right among them. How did he get in? Is he a ghost? He speaks: “Peace be with you… Look… Touch… It is I myself!” No ghost eats food, no ghost can be handled. No disembodied spirit has the marks he has!
John writes, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” (1 John 1:1-2, NIV)
We celebrate the living Lord, Jesus! The grave could not hold him. The fact that he is alive gives us the assurance that we will LIVE! FEAR NOT!