Peace in the Evening
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week,
when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews,
came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
19 Οὔσης οὖν ὀψίας τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ τῇ μιᾷ σαββάτων καὶ τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων ὅπου ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἔστη εἰς τὸ μέσον καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν.
· This is one of many miraculous signs that Jesus did in the presence of His disciples (John 20:30).
· Jesus did this sign to show His disciples that in fact He had been raised from the dead. The Word tell us that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scripture, that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scripture. Christ also was seen by many witnesses. (1 Corinthians 15:1-5ff.). So this Gospel story shows us that Christ revealed His resurrected self to His disciples to show them that He was really alive.
· Even though two of His disciples, Peter and John, saw the empty tomb early on that Sunday morning, they nevertheless did not understand from the Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead (John 20:9; cf. vv. 1-8).
· Even though Mary Magdalene told the disciples that she met the resurrected Lord at the tomb, the disciples nevertheless did not believe her testimony.
· What seems certain to us is this: Jesus’ disciples will not believe that their crucified Savior is back alive until they see Him for themselves!
· So the Gospel story has the Lord coming to personally show Himself to His disbelieving disciples.
· So the Scripture says: “19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
· My thought, is “Peace In The Evening.”
· Brothers and Sisters, the Word for this morning gives us blessed assurance and hope in the worst of our times. At this time in their lives the disciples saw themselves in a worst way. Their lives were in disarray, and their minds were all messed up. They were fearing for their lives, and fighting for their survival. They had put their hope in Jesus, and as far as they could see, Jesus had let them down. Their Savior had been crucified. Their kingdom-plans had been destroyed. The enemies of their Savior were now looking for them. All they could see to do at the time was to hide themselves behind locked doors. This is the predicament in which the disciples found themselves. And yet, Brothers and Sisters, this the same predicament into which the resurrected Savior appears to His disciples! Truly, this Gospel story gives us blessed assurance and hope in the worst of times in our lives!
· Yes, even in the worst of circumstances we who belong to Christ, we can have assurance and hope. We can have “Peace In the Evening.” Why? Because we belong to Christ! Why? Because God will take care of His own! Why? Because God makes no mistakes! Why? Because God’s Word is true and reliable! What God has said, God will do! And Who God has saved, God will also secure!
· So the Scripture says that Jesus appeared, “on the same day.” This “same day” was the first day of the week; the day we call Sunday. This “same day” was the day of Christ’s resurrection. It was on the same day of His resurrection IN THE EVENING that Christ appeared to His disciples. There is a lesson in these words.
· There is more than one way to look at anything. Life often has two sides. A coin has two sides. One side may appear one way, but the other side may appear in a different way. Isn’t it ironic that the same day in the evening when the disciples were in a worst way, was the very day of the BEST RESURRECTION that has ever taken place! So if you are a child of God, just remember: even in your worst day in this life, you are still living in THE DAY OF GOD’S RESURRECTION! For Jesus said, “I AM the resurrection and the life…” (cf. John 11). You and I are eternally living in a resurrection day. So we can have “Peace in the Evening.”
· As we go a little further, we learn that Jesus appeared to the disciples when they were hiding behind a “shut door.” The Scripture reads… “when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews…”
· The disciples of Jesus feared for their lives as defeated failures. So they found some house in Jerusalem where they could shut-in themselves, and shut-out everyone else. In tremendous fear, they waited for their fate to take its final course of destruction.
· What do you do when you think God has not worked for you in the way that way you thought He should, even when you put all your trust in Him?
· Sometimes we are just like the disciples. When we feel that God has let us down, we go run somewhere and hide. Then also, when we feel that we have let God down, we go run somewhere and hide. Then again, when we feel that all is lost, we try to protect our survival. So we find a place that we think is secure from our enemies and the outside world and we hide for our lives.
· But nevertheless, “God is Good, His mercy is ever lasting, and His truth endureth to all generations!” Jesus appeared to His disciples, even when they had shut the door!
· There is a good lesson that all of us can learn. You can shut out everyone else, but you can’t shut out God! Our resurrected Savior will not allow Himself to be shut out of the lives of His children! Yes, sometimes the worst of life will make us run and hide. But even so, God will seek us and find us. God’s goodness, God’s grace, and God’s power will show up, for us – and will show up even when nobody else can find us, or can get to us! God will come, to bring us “Peace in the Evening!”
· First, Jesus CAME.
· So, on the same day in the evening of the resurrection, on the same day, even when the doors were shut, Jesus appeared to His disciples. The Scripture is clear: Jesus “CAME.” Jesus “STOOD IN THE MIDST.” Jesus spoke a word of “PEACE.”
· Brothers and Sisters, for a moment, just take a good look at this wonderful scene of resurrection assurance and hope! For a moment, Jesus had left His disciples, but now He comes to them. For a short time they did not see Him; but now they see Him in His glory! For a minute, Jesus was away from them, but now, Jesus COMES…He comes to them, even into their shattered lives. Even though the doors were shut, Jesus CAME.
· Second, Jesus STOOD.
· Then Jesus STANDS. This word “STAND” makes me know that God has gotten the VICTORY. For at the end of the battle, the warrior who is left standing is the warrior who has won the victory.
· So, into the upper room, Jesus came and spiritually materialized Himself, and stands in the midst of the disciples. Yes, He had been crucified, but now He is alive. Yes, Jesus had been laid flat, low-down into an empty tomb on a cold slab of stone; but now Jesus stands tall and upright. Yes, Jesus had humbled Himself to the death of the Cross, but now He stands exalted, and given a Name that is above every name!
· Just look at our standing Savior. Look at the nail-prints in His hand. Look at the wound in His side. Look at the thorny-scars across His brow. Look at the pierces in His feet. But then, look again. Look at the light of His eyes. Look at the confidence on His face. Look at the glory of His countenance. Look at assurance of His mighty arm of salvation! Look at the life, the everlasting life of His eternal being! Look at the grin on His chin! Look at Jesus stand; and having done all, He stands. And He stands in the midst, so that all can see Him; see Him who is their resurrected Savior!
· Third, Jesus Spoke.
· So Jesus comes, and Jesus stands, but now Jesus speaks. The first words that come from His mouth are words of blessed assurance. Jesus says, ‘PEACE…’, “PEACE BE UNTO YOU.”
· PEACE! Everything is going to be alright!
· PEACE! God can make a way out of no way!
· PEACE! I am the resurrection and the life!
· PEACE! The Lord will make a way somehow!
· PEACE! I have taken away your sins!
· PEACE! I have washed you whiter than snow!
· PEACE! I have covered you with my blood!
· PEACE! You can love one another!
· PEACE! You can comfort one another!
· PEACE! You can care for each other!
· PEACE! I have defeated principalities and powers!
· PEACE! I’m in control of everything!
· PEACE! I have set the captives free!
· PEACE! Joy has come in the morning!
· PEACE! No more sorrows!
· PEACE! No more shame!
· PEACE! You can unlock the door!
· PEACE! You don’t have to hide any more!
· PEACE! Tell the world, a Savior has come!
· PEACE! I have the keys of death and hell!
· PEACE! I was dead, but now I am alive for evermore!
· PEACE! PEACE! PEACE!