8th April 2021
33 They got up and returned at once
to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven
and those with them, assembled together
34 and saying, "It is true!
The Lord has risen
and has appeared to Simon."
Yesterday we left the two disciples
alone at the table in their house,
open mouthed and astonished at their
encounter with the risen Christ.
They just had to start their long journey
back to Jerusalem to share their good news:
in Jerusalem they told their wonderful story
of their experience of the risen Jesus
with their comrades who had also heard
that Jesus has appeared to Simon Peter.
"We recognised him in the breaking of the bread."
'Yes, Jesus had come to us in our sorrow and
walked along the road with us.'
He had shared the gospels with them,
sat at their table and,
taking the host's role,
broke bread with them.
While they were sharing their incredible story,
Jesus appeared in the room with them
and said, "Peace be with you."
What a shock, suddenly he was there,
although the doors were locked;
and offered them peace.
It was the ordinary Jewish greeting of 'Shalom'
but one which had special meaning
in this Easter context.
Before his death Jesus had told his disciples,
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
Not as the world do I give it to you"
The peace of the Risen Jesus is a blessing indeed!
In spite of what they had heard,
they were terrified and thought
they are seeing a ghost.
"What are you afraid of?" Jesus asked them.
He showed them his pierced hands and feet.
The Greeks mocked at the idea of bodily
resurrection but the reality of
Christ's risen body was obvious -
the risen Jesus was a real person.
He invited them to come and touch him;
ghosts do not have flesh and bones!
As he showed them the wounds in his hands
and feet their fear turned to a mixture of
joy and utter astonishment;
they couldn't believe their eyes.
Jesus had to ask them
to give him something to eat -
ghosts don't eat; and Jesus was no ghost,
he was no disembodied soul.
Jesus then went on to explain,
as he did with the Emmaus disciples,
how all that had happened to him was to
fulfil the Law and the prophets.
Referring to the Old Testament,
Jesus showed that the Messiah's, his, birth, death
and resurrection was predicted through
the whole of the Hebrew scriptures.
All that had been written had come
to fullness in him.
And out of Christ's suffering,
death and resurrection came reconciliation
with God to the whole word.
"You are witnesses to this."
It was their mission to carry on the
building of God's Kingdom
throughout the world.
The Kingdom is built when people go through
that process of conversion and change
in their lives bringing about
reconciliation with God,
and with all those around them;
when all divisions fall away and fear
and hostility are replaced with
a caring love for one another.
Let us become part of
that great movement today.
It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'The Lord Bless You and Keep You'
by John Rutter
via the link shown below.