The Lord Be With You Today!

Christ Is Risen!
He Is Risen, Indeed!
John 20:19-29
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together,
with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders,
(Mary Magdalene had just told the disciples that she has actually seen the Lord,
risen and alive, and He has actually talked to her.
With what incredulous wonder they must have received the news,
and yet, filled with the fear of man,
they still failed to comprehend the full measure
of what His resurrection really meant.
Even though we have the fully documented truth of His resurrection
and know the impact of all that His resurrection implies for us today,
we still so often live in fear rather than grasp the truth that is ours in Christ.
What part of our lives today do we still lock away in fear,
failing to apply the truth of Who Jesus is to our daily walk?)
Jesus came and stood among them and said,
Peace be with you!”
After He said this, He showed them His hands and side.
The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said,
Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.”
And with that He breathed on them and said,
Receive the Holy Spirit.
(Jesus’ appearance is always accompanied by His peace,
and He always immediately and tenderly extends His peace to us.
His perfect love casts out all our fear,
and then He breathes the new life of His Holy Spirit into us and over us
to empower and strengthen us as He sends us out.)
If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven;
if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
(As the disciples take the Good News to new audiences,
sent now by Jesus into the world even as He had been sent by His Father,
depending upon the hearers’ response to the disciples’ call to repentance,
by virtue of proclaiming the forgiveness of sins in Christ,
the disciples are, effectively, forgiving or not forgiving those who hear
by simply giving them the message for them to choose.)
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve,
was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in His Hands
and put my finger where the nails were,
and put my hand into His Side, I will not believe.”
(Stubborn to the last, skeptical, unconvinced, disbelieving,
refusing to accept others’ eye-witness accounts,
somehow rationalizing what is uncompromisingly laid before us,
we, like Thomas, often declare our unwillingness
to commit to new truths we have been given,
depending, rather, on our own limited understanding
and individual experience as the sole basis for fact.)
A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.
Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said,
Peace be with you!”
Then He said to Thomas, Put your finger here; see My Hands.
Reach out your hand and put it into My Side.
Stop doubting and believe
.”
(Even with Thomas, even with us,
the Lord mercifully meets us where our need lies, where we are resistant,
where and how we most need Him to reveal Himself to us.
Thomas’ absence from Jesus’ first meeting with His disciples was no accident.
Instead, the Lord used Thomas’ absence to reveal to us His determination
to reach out to all of us who doubt.)
Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
(Without hesitation, spontaneously,
no longer needing to touch Jesus’ nail prints or His Side,
Thomas worships Christ, acknowledging Him as Lord.
When the Lord reveals Himself to us,
our only response is worshipful acknowledgement of Who He is.)
Then Jesus told him, Because you have seen Me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed
.”
(You and I today are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
And today we are blessed as we rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus!)
Christ Is Risen!
He Is Risen, Indeed!

May the Lord richly bless you this day!

In Christ’s love,

Blessings,

Sally
513 254 3874