Studying the Easter story gives us amazing insight into what it means to be human. Jesus on many occasions told His disciples that He was going to die even hinting to how He would be killed (John 12:23-32). But His forewarning was unfathomable and when He was crucified they were devastated. The beloved Apostle John records “In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” (John 20:19). Imagine the men who watched Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, calm an angry sea, feed thousands with a few pieces of bread and fish, heal a man blind from birth and silence the brightest religious minds with pithy one-liners, reduced to hiding in a room afraid for their own lives. When Jesus appeared to them His action gives us brilliant insight into the human need. He didn’t recount the Sermon on the Mount, review the Lord’s prayer, or scold them for hiding. He simply shared with them three words. “Peace to you!” He filled their despondent hearts with joy and courage that eventually turned the world upside down.
If we cannot understand how vital peace is, then we cannot understand what it means to be human. God informs us through His word but He transforms us by His presence. We know the epic accounts of Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection. We can tell multiple stories of how He worked in us and changed us. We know the liberating victory of sin forgiven. But we live every day in a world at war. When trials come, trials He warned us would come, for some reason we fall apart. We wonder where God disappeared. We doubt the very essence of our faith and question if a God really could reign over such a screwed-up planet. We signed up for a triumphant Messiah and His promise to include us on the winning team. But we didn’t bargain on suffering or forecast the fear that would grip us when people or circumstances viciously turn against us.
Easter is the paradox of peace. Jesus dies to conquer death. He endured horrendous pain to bring an end to our suffering. He bore our burden of sin and yet was the only Human to live a sinless life. He felt the rejection of His Father who couldn’t look upon Him, to gain our acceptance. Each way He turns is illogical to our way of thinking. And maybe this is our problem. We do too much thinking. We fashion in our brains what life should be like but we are not the Creator of life. We have but a smidgen of understanding of God and life and life with God. And this is why we need peace. Peace puts an end to endless questions. In the same way children run for the arms of their mother so ought we to run to the One who says, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b).
No matter what our circumstances are at this moment—God loves us. There are two ways to spend Easter—huddled behind a door afraid of what’s outside or gathered in joy worshiping the redeemer King. Homeless? Jobless? Sick? Emotionally spent? Frustrated? Angry? Tired? Heartsick? Betrayed? In-debt? Lost? Bewildered? Alone? God has a word for you—P-E-A-C-E! Peace be with you—something to think about . . . in reveration!
When we stay our feeble efforts,
And from struggling cease,
Brings us God’s own peace.—Oswald Chambers in If You Will Be Perfect
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)