The Church of the Resurrection

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : John 20:19-23

Peace be with you. (v. 19)

On the evening of that first Easter day, the disciples have locked themselves away.
They fear the Jewish leaders and are both confused and astonished by this resurrection
business. What should they make of these eyewitness accounts of the risen Jesus appearing
to some women? And if they are true, then what do they do next? How would they convince
those who had not seen the risen Lord? Could they even convince themselves? Could they
overcome the hostility of the religious authorities? Into this confusion enters the Risen
One himself. He speaks a simple yet profound word of assurance: “Peace.”

Jesus then explains the reason for his visit. It is more than to reassure; it is to
commission. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (v. 21). The mission of
the church springs from this great moment. Jesus calls the disciples to unlock the door,
leave their hiding place, abandon their fear, and go out to the world with the gospel of
forgiveness.

The risen Jesus calls the church to be visible. Like the disciples, we are called to
step out of our safe places and into the world. Jesus Christ came in the flesh and now the
church is called to be the continued embodiment of his mission. If we are to be the church
of the resurrection we must follow the disciples into the world to proclaim the good news
of Jesus Christ. We must pass on what we have received, saying to the world, “Peace be
with you.”

PRAYER

Lord, may we be obedient to where you send us.