18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
It’s here that we see Jesus
- Come to:
The first thing that Jesus did was to meet the disciples where they were. The Lord knows about the locks in our lives. He knows where we are hiding, locked up and afraid. But notice that Jesus didn’t unlock the doors He unlock their hearts. Jesus didn’t deal with the door to their house He didn’t pound down their door. Some of us are afraid that Jesus is going to pound us down, it wasn’t His pounding that unlocked their hearts it was His presence. It takes Jesus; it’s His presence that brings the power and peace we need. We must experience Christ for ourselves, no matter what others have told us we need to connect with Jesus. Jesus shows up and they don’t recognize Him until they see His scares Why? They weren’t expecting Him. This is very common, it happens in our lives all the time. God shows up in your circumstances and situations and you don’t even recognize Him. Why? Because you’re not looking for Him. When you’re running on empty, it can feel like God is a million miles away but know this: He’s closer than you realize. He’s here and He’s near and He wants to help you today. We all need a real encounter with the Resurrected Jesus to really see Him standing with us because that is what filled them with joy. Without Jesus we are filled with fear with Him joy. The answer isn’t to lock the door and keep the world out its to open our heart and let Jesus in! We don’t need more locks we need the Lord. Not only did Jesus come to connect but also to:
PEACE Vs 19 – The first thing His presence provided was peace. We are all doubting Thomas, doubting Mary, doubting Peter until…the Risen Christ enters into our lives and speaks our name: “Thomas, Mary, Peter, put your name in, peace be with you! Jesus could have walked into the room and the first thing He said to His followers, “Why did you leave Me? Why did you abandon Me? Where were you when I needed you most?” But Jesus didn’t criticize them, rebuke them or scold them, instead he says, “Peace be with you.” Why? He understood their confusion. If you don’t get anything else today get this: nobody understands how you feel as much as Jesus does. In fact, He understands how you feel more than you understand how you feel. He knows that you are empty and need filled and He wants to flood your life with His presence that brings peace. He wants to comfort you today, why not talk to Him? You have a choice you can pray, or you can panic, you can worry, or you can worship.
LOVE Vs 20 – It wasn’t untilthe disciples saw His hands and side that they “saw the Lord.” When Jesus shows the disciples the nail prints, he’s not only showed them proof of who it is and how much He loved them. The scares of the cross reveal His love and it’s the scares of His love that identified Jesus. But we don’t really see Jesus until we see His sacrifice. No one will ever love you like Jesus does today you don’t need to keep running on empty let His love fill you.
FORGIVENESS Vs 23 – He offers you forgiveness. Forgiveness is a huge re-energizer, because the two things that cause you to run out of energy and drain you are guilt and resentment. The answer to both of these is forgiveness. You cannot be guilty and happy at the same time, you cannot be resentful and filled with joy at the same time. When we hurt others, we are left with guilt, and when others hurt us we are left with resentment. Those two things, guilt over the things that we’ve done wrong in the world or the things we failed to do and resentment over the wrongs that have been to us, are the twins that keep us stuck in emotional emptiness. God has forgiven you, His scared hands show us, and He calls us to forgive others. Pass it on if you don’t, your guilt and resentment will keep you on empty. It will keep you stuck in the past and prevent you from moving forward in life. So, what do you need to let go of today? Who do you need to let off the hook?
PRESENCE Vs 22 – He fills you with His presence when you’re running on empty He breathed on them because He didn’t want to just be with them but in them. The Holy Spirit is God’s power and presence in your life, so we don’t have to be alone in this life. God was with them all the time in a tangible way. The gift of the Holy Spirit is God with you every moment of your life. You are not alone. So, open up your heart to Him today. Stop living in the locks and start living in and living out His love.