Sermon: “Fear That Ends in Peace”
2nd Sunday after Easter
Sermon: “Fear end in Peace”
Scripture: John 20: 19-31
Prepared by Carl Schaefer
For Grace United Methodist Church
April 15, 2007
- Disciples fled the Garden in Fear; Record shows that Peter denied Christ; Only Gospel of John puts himself at the
- Cross; Disciples found hiding in Jerusalem, behind locked doors – John 20: 19, “On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews.
- Context for fear at time of the resurrection
- Jews looked to be rid of Jesus of Nazareth – sentiment against Jesus would be directed at his followers – hunt for Saddam Hussein, followers and family.
- Romans would not tolerate any further disturbances – followers were blamed by Jews.
- Suspected that disciples would attempt to steal the body
- Disciples still did not believe the prophesy of the resurrection – they were afraid of what they had seen but didn’t understand
- In China today, you can be arrested for holding worship services, selling or giving away Bible, and spreading religious slogans, pamphlets, etc. This persecution can lead to constant fear – as was the case for 1st and 2nd Century Christians. – worshipped in the Catechomes beneath the city streets – hiding behind closed doors using secret language such as the sing of the “fish.”
- For the disciples and Christians, the resurrection was meaningless and certainly not personal until Jesus appeared in the room where the disciples were hiding. At that moment, seeing Jesus, the resurrection became real – followed by a sense of Peace – that was promised – the resurrection would make them fearless.
- What do I mean by peace in the context of the resurrection?
- The Peace I believe only Jesus could – in the room where they were hiding when he said in verse 19, “Peace be with you,” is a resurrection Peace. However”
- not a peace that says the pain and suffering is over
- not a peace that says the devil has left the scene
- not a peace that supposedly followed the war to end all wars
- not a peace to eliminate all abuse and neglect
- No, but a resurrection peace that would end fear of death – eternity absent spiritual death.
- Paul speaks to the peace that end fear in Romans 5:1, “Therefore we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’
- Peace with God that does eliminate the fear that disciples had when they hid behind closed doors in Jerusalem:
- Peace that ends all claims that sin and devil have on our lives
- Peace that comes with the knowledge that this is not all there is
- Peace that comes with knowing that we are no longer lost but found
- Peace that comes with the knowledge that fear of being separated from God has come to an end.
- Peace that drives out fear knowing we are loved by God and have been promised, yes promised, that we never will be separated from the love of God. Quote Paul: Romans 8:37-39
- Does everyone have this peace? No! Paul says this peace (Romans 5:1) comes by justification through faith – faith?
- trust that Jesus died for all, and for me!
- Trust that the resurrection is true, even though we can’t prove it.
- Trust that God keeps all his promises – that leads to the confession that Paul describes as faith.
- Romans 10: 9, “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” --- and that is resurrection peace which passes all understanding.
- You can’t buy it; you can’t replace it; there is no substitute for it
- It is a fear that ends in peace.
- Paul says that there “is no condemnation in Jesus Christ.”