This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on May 2nd 2021 by Colin D via zoom. For the audio please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.
Last week we looked at the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to 2 strangers on the road to Emmaus. Jesus also appeared to Peter as mentioned in 1 cor 15:5. The appearances of Jesus to these groups of people attest to the resurrection of Jesus and that he is alive forevermore.
Today we will look at the account of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples in Luke 24:36 onwards. The same account is also recorded in John 20.
In John 20:19 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”
Why is the resurrection important?
Jesus justifies – the resurrection meant that our sins are justified and forgiven. The righteousness of Jesus is credited to our account. Due to this, we are entitled to live with him forever.
Jesus proved that he defeated death – Romans 6:9 “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” Today we are filled with stories of death, but for us, death is not the end, just a doorway to eternity.
It declared that Jesus is the son of God – Romans 1:4 “and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,”
When we die, we will be raised to be like him – 1 Cor 15:20 – 23 “ But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
Hope beyond the grave – 1 Peter 1 : 3-4- “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,” Acts 17:30-31 “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
The first thing that Jesus says when he sees the disciples is “peace be with you”. Receive the peace of God in this challenging situation.
At one time we were hostile to God. But what Jesus declared is peace. Jesus could have appeared in the synagogue and lorded it over the high priest for crucifying him. But there is no record of Jesus appearing to his enemies. There are only 2 categories of people – those who have peace with God and those who don’t have peace with God. We are born hostile to God. John 15: 15 “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant, does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” When we put our faith in Jesus, we are friends of God and peace with God.
We see this account in Luke 24 as well.
Luke 24: 36 “36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
When we die we too will have a new body – a resurrected body. 1 cor 15:42 - 44“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”
John 20: 22 “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
What is happening here?
Where did God breathe on people in the Old Testament? In the garden of Eden, Gen 2, God breathed on Adam when he created him and breathed life. That is the old creation, and this is the new creation through Jesus Christ.
John 20: 21 “As the Father has sent me, even so, I am sending you” This is the same for us as it was for the first disciples.
John 20: 23 “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld” God has given us great authority. We need to proclaim the gospel to people.
Luke 24: 47 “and that repentance for[c] the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” This is one area we need to grow in. In today’s world, He wants us to hold out the hope of eternal life to people who are perishing physically and spiritually. But he says “But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high”
We receive the holy spirit inside us when we receive Jesus. But then there is a baptism in the holy spirit. Let’s inspect where we are in obeying the words of Jesus – have you received the peace of God? Have you been sharing the gospel with people? Have you been baptised and filled with the holy spirit?