Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. (John 20:19–20)
The disciples were certainly in need of peace. They had watched Jesus die, having thought he was going to be king of Israel. They feared the leaders of Israel, that they would come for them next as revolutionaries. And add in the fact that Mary Magdalene had found the tomb empty that morning. The recipe was certainly not conducive to calm.
But Jesus spoke peace to them. He gave them evidence that he was who he said he was, showing them his hands and side and allowing them to see that he was the same person who had been crucified just two days earlier. They were overjoyed!
We often find ourselves in need of peace. Our day is suddenly disrupted by a tragic accident. A doctor alerts us of a tumor we did not know we had. Our employment is called into question. In those times, Jesus speaks peace into our lives. We may not always hear him at first. It may take some careful listening, but his voice is there—always, no matter the situation.
His word of peace often comes with evidence. He shows us his hands and side. They do not promise that the threat will go away, but they show that he will endure the threat with us. They promise that at the end of all threats and all turmoil is resurrection.
Rest in the peace of Christ, no matter what your circumstances.
Ken Schenck is vice president for planning and innovation at Houghton College (NY) and a professor in New Testament. He previously served as dean of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.