Peace Beyond Locked Doors
Peace Beyond Locked Doors John 20:19-31
The doors of the room were locked because the disciples were afraid. This is the situation after Jesus has risen from the grave, but has not yet personally shown himself to his followers. The women had seen the empty tomb, but the others were not totally sure what to make of things. Was Jesus really back? Would he come looking for them? That might be a scary thought since they had all abandoned him when he needed them the most! What about the religious and state officials who had authorized the crucifixion of Jesus? Would they come next for the disciples? The followers of Jesus had reason to be afraid. They had reason to stay behind locked doors.
We have a reason to stay behind our doors as well. There is a virus on the loose that grows exponentially with people in close quarters. It can affect people quite seriously in ways that can be fatal. While we don’t know exactly where it is or where it is going, we know the best way to avoid it is to stay away from other people.
As Christians we believe gathering together is so important because one of the ways we see Jesus today is in other people. We believe that as we worship and talk together, study and pray together, Jesus becomes alive in our midst. So when we cannot get together, it may be more difficult to feel close to Jesus. We might be wondering where is Jesus at this time, just like the disciples were wondering where Jesus was so long ago.
The good news is that as the disciples were wondering about where Jesus was, he came and found them. While they were huddled behind locked doors with fear, he walks through the walls with courage. While they might have been wondering if Jesus would be angry with them, he greets them with a word of peace. The disciples may have felt like they couldn’t go outside, but that didn’t stop Jesus from being with them and assuring them of God’s presence.
Is this a good reminder for us as well? As we go through a time when we are supposed to mostly stay inside, do we need to remember that Christ can still get through to us? When we cannot gather together, can we trust that Christ will still come to meet us with a word of peace?
-Pastor Erik Goehner