On the evening of Resurrection Sunday, 10 of the disciples of Jesus were huddled behind closed doors. They wondered what was going to become of them in light of the reality that their Teacher had been crucified, had died, and had been put into the grave.
Even though some of them had gone to His tomb, had heard what Mary had seen, what she had experienced at the tomb, and had seen that His body was not there, they did not yet know/understand what the Old Testament scriptures had prophesied and of that which He Himself had told them about His resurrection from the dead.
As they waited, suddenly Jesus stood in their midst and spoke these words: “Peace be unto you.” He then showed them his hands and his side, and the disciples, seeing the Lord, were glad . . . He then spoke words of peace to them again, but added some challenging words to his greeting of peace: “Peace be unto you, as my Father hath sent me, even so I send you. . .”
He then gave them a mission, empowered them for His mission by breathing on them the Holy Spirit, and then gave them the message to speak.
“And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.’”
As we live in a culture that is getting increasingly less tolerant of the very message that is able to free them from the guilt and the power of sin, may we not huddle in fear in our churches, but may be reminded that He is our Peace, we have a mission, He has empowered us for His mission, and He has a message that He wants all to hear and to believe: “Your sins are forgiven through the suffering and death of Jesus the Christ, who was dead but now lives forever!”