Day 291: John 20:19-29
I was about 4-5 years old, we lived in Salisbury, North Carolina in a
neighborhood where the homes had large wooden front porches. These porches had to be painted
periodically. I had a friend whose name
is “Thing.” In those days, we roamed the
neighborhood and ‘stay-at-home’ moms kept an eye out for all the children.
this particular day, Thing and I were outside playing and noticed the wet paint
on one of our neighbor’s porches. For
the life of me, I cannot tell you why in the world we thought it would be fun
to have our little bare feet and toes on that wet paint – but we did. In fact, it must have been so much fun that I
can still remember it today.
the first day of the week, Jesus Christ has risen!
John’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene is the first to get to the tomb on that third day
after Jesus’ crucifixion and death. When
she gets there, the stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty. After speaking with whom she first thinks is
the gardener, Jesus calls her by name and tells her to go and tell the
disciples I am alive and that He will be ascending to the Father – Your Father
and Your God! Mary finds the disciples and tells them
everything she has seen and heard from Jesus.
they are afraid. They are afraid that
the radical Jews who crucified Jesus will come for them and crucify them. And so, that evening, they go into the house
and lock all the doors. In all honesty,
I cannot fathom what must have been going through their minds and hearts.
I do know for me, that when horrific events happen in my life – I tend to replay
them over and over in my head. I think
about the things I said. I think about
the things I wished I had said or had not said.
I think about what I had done, should have done, or not done. I think about that if only “Hindsight were
20/20” that I could go back in time and make it right. And so…I wonder if some of their
conversations sounded like this:
were we thinking?” We let Jesus go all
by himself to the cross! And Peter: I denied Him after He told that I would. But I love him so much – Why did I do
that! I told him I was willing to die
have lost our brother, Judas! His guilt
was more than he could bare. If Jesus
really is resurrected and alive. What
are we going to say? What will we
do? And, in the midst of their fear, guilt, and
confusion, Jesus appears before them! He
comes through the locked doors and stands among them!
only do they now have an opportunity to tell Jesus how much they love Him – but
they also have the opportunity to ask for forgiveness. It’s like when we have a loved one or a dear
friend that we have wronged and before they leave this earth – we are grateful
for the opportunity to clear the air – to forgive each other! And here Jesus is – standing before them in
the flesh and blood!
here is the thing. Jesus already
knows…He already knows their guilt and shame.
He already knows how much they truly love Him. He already knows what is in their
hearts. He breathes on them and says to
Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they will be
forgiven. If you do not forgive the sins
of any – they will not be forgiven.
gives them the keys to the KINGDOM…The Keys to their SALVATION. He tells the REASON for the death and
resurrection of their LORD – our LORD! Jesus
knew that if we have sin – we cannot know God.
And so, he entered into Hell – to face the devil on our behalf! Jesus changed our FUTURE! Jesus made us into EASTER PEOPLE! He
made His disciples into Easter people!
breathes on them – Freely gives them the Holy Spirit!
as I was sent into the world – Now I send you!
gave his disciples the power to forgive the sins of others! YOU NOW HAVE THE POWER TO FORGIVE!
now have the power to even forgive yourself.
Because…Jesus says…I forgive you for denying me, Peter. I forgive you
for not walking to the cross with me. I
forgive you for not standing up for me.I forgive you! His breath – infuses our bodies with grace
upon grace – overflowing and bubbling up inside each one of us! This
peace I give you is a peace that is deeper than a wish or words that can even
be spoken. And now, because of Jesus’ resurrection – Nothing else even matters. Nothing we have done – it’s all forgotten
about. Today – Right NOW – the NEW
CREATION has BEGUN!
NEW LIFE BEGINS!
remember being home that evening when there was a knock at the door. A man was standing there, and I specifically
remember standing behind my mom listening to the man. He told my mom that two children had walked
all over his newly painted porch and left little foot prints all over it. My mom stood up for me. She said, “Well, I don’t think my daughter
would do that.” The man then says, “Well
whoever did it, will have red paint on the bottom of their feet.” I’ll never forget the shame and guilt I felt
at that moment. I honestly do not
remember too much what happened at that point except that I was proven guilty
because I had the red paint on the bottom of my feet.
on someone’s newly painted porch as a child is a small offense – but the guilt
and the shame are the same. But, here is
the Good NEWS! The dead Jesus is alive,
and He stands in the midst of our guilt, shame, and fear. – and even all of our hopes and dreams. Jesus’ peace – is a gift of sheer grace!
day as Jesus stands in the midst of His disciples with all their fear, guilt,
shame, and confusion – He brings them a peace that passes all of their
understanding. He brings us a peace that
passes all of our understanding!
all OK. I forgive you.
are my disciples!
are the Salt of the Earth.
are the Light of the World.
are a Child of God.
as I have been sent into the world, I now send you!
Lord and my God!