Jesus Stands Among Us
When Jesus first appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, they were cowering behind locked doors, fearing what the authorities who had crucified their leader would do next. But locked doors couldn’t stop Jesus! Nothing stopped Him from entering the house and re-entering their lives, proving Himself to be their Savior and their living hope. He was able to be seen, heard, touched, known—and He approaches our lives in the same manner. No matter where we are or what we have done, Christ can enter our lives—our sadness, our darkness, our fear, our doubts—and make Himself seen and known, declaring, “Peace be with you.”
Maybe you’re a “doubting Thomas,” quick to question matters of faith. To some degree, questions are good and healthy. Thomas was straightforward with Jesus, essentially saying, I’m not going to believe in You unless I can actually put my finger in Your scars. Jesus replied to Thomas, All right, if that’s what it takes for you, here you are (John 20:24-29). Jesus can meet us in our doubts. Or maybe you’re a denying Peter, quick to renounce your identity in Christ and quick to feel condemnation for how you’ve messed up. Jesus took Peter, who had questioned Him countless times but crumbled before the question of a servant girl, and made him the rock on which His church was built (Matthew 16:18). Jesus accepts us despite our shortcomings and uses our lives in transformative ways. Or perhaps you’re a disgraced Mary Magdalene, whose past haunts you, making you feel unworthy of Jesus’ love and acceptance. Yet God did not ordain Jesus’ first recorded encounter after His resurrection to be with a Sunday-school teacher but with a woman who had a sordid past riddled with sin and had even suffered demon possession. It was no haphazard coincidence that the first embrace, as it were, from the resurrected Christ was with such a person. He offers this same redemptive embrace to us.
Jesus can get past locked doors; He can get through to hardened hearts. Through His death and resurrection, He was able to bridge the gap that sin had opened between rebellious humanity and a righteous God. We must receive the salvation He freely offers. It must be fresh in our minds each day.
Have you done this? Have you received Jesus unconditionally and unreservedly? Do you embrace Him daily? Do you rehearse His gospel to yourself each morning? To trust in this way means we give ourselves to God in service. We submit ourselves to His lordship as our Savior. We take God’s promises to heart, and we take the salvation He freely offers. With this belief, you will see that He stands beside you, offering you an eternal, intimate peace that triumphs over and transforms your sadness, your darkness, your fear, your doubts. Hear the risen Christ say to you, “Peace be with you.”
Jesus and Thomas
24Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin,4 was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
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