On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." John 20:19
Peter, John and Mary had just been to the tomb. It was empty. Peter and John went home confused. Mary hung around weeping with grief until she heard that sweet voice say her name...."Mary." The resurrected Jesus revealed himself to her and sent her on to tell the other grieving disciples that their grief could end, "... but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Her heart full, she carried that message with joy, "I have seen the Lord," she told them in verse 18.
At this point the disciples know that the tomb is empty, they have heard Mary's story. One would expect them to be filled with joyous anticipation, "Wow! He's risen! What do you think He has planned next?" Yet, in verse 19 we find them locked away "for fear of the Jews." What happened?
I'm not judging them, I can empathize... My family and I have just experienced miraculous events to bring us to a new home in a beautiful area on the coast. Undeniably, miraculous. The details surrounding our move were covered with God's fingerprints. Yet, yesterday when the doctor called and said that for some baffling reason, I am still testing positive for mononucleosis even though it should have been cleared away months ago, I felt that fear, what if it never goes away? What if every day I am feverish, achy and sick? I tried to pray, tried to keep in perspective, but I did not sleep well for fear of.... And yet, I have that resurrected Jesus living inside of me. Where is my joyous expectation of, "All things are possible with God; I wonder what He is going to do?"
My dear friend, can you relate to what I am saying? What is your for fear of? Are you afraid of never getting well, or facing another day with pain, depression or anxiety? Maybe you are facing a more hidden fear, your spouse has proven himself/herself untrustworthy and you wonder what will happen to you and the kids. Maybe it's for fear of not finding a job, never getting married or having children or failing at whatever task that has been placed in front of you. Whatever it is, we are not alone... we have hope, we have Him.
Once again, I pray for His grace to fill us so that we can lay down those fears. In verse 20, He came and stood among the disciple (entered through locked doors) and said, "Peace be with you." He lives inside of you and I and says, "Peace be with you."
Father, we once again entrust our lives to you. We thank You for the ways that You have shown Yourself faithful and for the fact that You are no matter what we see or feel. You are our peace. We embrace you and relinquish these fears to You. You alone can handle them. You alone know the future. Father, help us live this day without fear, help us to live as you created us.