Key Text: John 20:19-31

The disciples were having trouble believing what they had heard. Only a few hours earlier, Mary Magdalene, and the other women had announced that they had seen Jesus, ALIVE! The news seemed too unbelievable. It was only a few days ago, that they had seen their best friend, leader, rabbi and master arrested, beaten, crucified and buried. – The Romans had done a seemingly good job. Jesus was dead, and buried and with Him all of their hopes dreams and desires.

Suddenly in the midst of these impossible circumstances, Jesus appears. He is not a ghost or figment of their grief. It is the risen, glorified Jesus. The first words out of his mouth were: ‘Peace be with you.’ Of course it was a common greeting and probably one He had spoken to them many times. But in this context it was more than a greeting. It was a message of acceptance.

In a moment the presence of Jesus transformed the disciples from weak kneed, cowering cowards into confident, faith filled men ready to take on the world whatever the cost. This is the effect of the power of the resurrected Christ in the life of any person who by faith embraces His loving grace.

Wherever people are confronted by the reality of Jesus resurrection their lives are transformed. Because Jesus has risen from the dead, we can be people who experience the transforming power of the resurrection Before stepping into the room the disciples were afraid. That word ‘fear’ in 19 carries with it the idea of ‘flight.’ The disciples were so alarmed and frightened that they wanted to run.

Now, contrast this with the word, ‘peace’, which is defined as ‘putting together that which is broken’ complete wholeness’ Jesus knows they are afraid so He says ‘Shalom’ to them, which literally means, ‘Complete wholeness’ His peace has at least 4 dimensions:

Peace with God Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Why do we need peace with God?

Because v.8 & v.10 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Jesus on the cross dealt with the power of sin. When we trust Jesus as our saviour, rescuer, we find peace with God.

Promise of Peace John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Why did Jesus give this message? So that we His disciples can know peace in a world of trouble. In Jesus there is peace; in the world there is trouble – you choose.

We not only enjoy vertical peace with God and inner peace in the midst of our trouble but we can experience horizontal peace with other people

Peace in our Relationships Ephesians 2:14-18 For he Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

This is the power of the cross and resurrection. Brings a 3D peace internal, external and Eternal.

Peace with the Past Romans 8:1

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Notice it says there is NOW no condemnation. You do not have to fear God missed something or that your past will be brought up again. It is done, complete and finished for all those who are IN CHRIST.

Jesus offers us peace today, even if we feel we don’t deserve it. God’s peace and forgiveness is extended to us by His grace.

Jesus proclaims peace, He gives us purpose, He equips with His power and He offers forgiveness to all who accept his grace.

But there is one final message Jesus gives when He comes into the room. That message is an INVITATION to believe. ‘Stop Doubting and Believe’ v.27 How can we believe if we have not seen the resurrected Christ the way Thomas did?

John gives us the answer in v.31But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

That is John’s intention behind writing this gospel. It is not just a story to entertain. It is a message of truth that is to be embraced with the same kind of personal commitment Thomas made when he addressed Jesus, 28 ‘My Lord and my God’