“Peace be with you!”
Scripture reading for May 4th: John 20
On the first day of the week (Sunday) Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and found it open and empty. She ran and told the disciples and John and Peter ran to check it out for themselves. They came and saw the grave clothes folded up as well as the linen strips. John says that he saw and believed that Jesus was alive. But they left without seeing Him. Mary stayed at the tomb and when she bent to look inside again, she saw two angels seated where the body had been. They asked her why she was crying and as she turned away, she saw Jesus standing there but did not recognize Him. He revealed Himself to her and told her: “Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My father and your Father, to My God and your God.'” (John 20:17)
Later that Sunday evening, the disciples were together behind locked doors because they were afraid of what might happen. “Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19) John says that Jesus showed them His hands and side where He was pierced. The disciples were overjoyed at seeing Him alive!
“Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”” (John 20:21-23) Jesus spoke peace to these men who had denied and deserted Him a few hours earlier. He commissioned them to go into the world and seek the lost as He had done for the Father. He gave them the Holy Spirit and authority to proclaim forgiveness!