How can we have peace when everything is changing?
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36)
The disciples were gathered together discussing the various reports of the empty tomb and the mysterious appearances and disappearances of Jesus. Then he stood there among them.
The previous few days had been full of things the disciples would not have chosen: conflict with the Jewish leaders, betrayal, arrest, cowardly reactions to that arrest, the humiliation and death of their beloved Jesus. How overwhelming!
Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem did not bring in a military kingdom to subdue the Roman sword. Jesus’ resurrection did not banish trouble from the disciples’ lives. In some ways, their circumstances got more difficult. And yet every one of the disciples (except Judas) would tell you it was worth it.
Peace I leave with you; 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 14:27)
Jesus himself was their peace. When he stood there among them, they knew all was not lost. At the end of the 40 days they learned that his physical presence would not always be with them, but God would be with them in a new way. The events that unfold in the book of Acts show that the presence of God in their lives was even more powerful after the coming Holy Spirit.
Did things settle down after the resurrection? After Jesus’ ascension into heaven? After the coming of the Holy Spirit? No, no, and no.
Over the next several days let’s look at how the lives of the early Christians unfolded after Jesus sent the Holy Spirit.
Was it peaceful? Hold on to your hat!
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
Christchurch Evangelical Covenant • 1900 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04102 • 207-775-1900 • firstname.lastname@example.org