“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’” John 20:19
The women, Peter, and John found Jesus’ tomb empty. They dashed back through the dusty Jerusalem streets to where the other disciples waited. “It’s empty. Really. He is not there!”
Yet, instead of rejoicing, the disciples become overwhelmed. Scripture says they locked themselves away in fear. Maybe they were afraid the Romans would think they stole the body or they felt guilty for deserting their Lord. Suddenly, Jesus who was once dead, stood in their midst. Their gasps must have sucked the air from the room!
People who are burdened with guilt are often afraid of encountering Jesus. They cower, expecting Him to examine them with a holy magnifying glass. How can they ever be good enough?
The same can be true after you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Have you struggled with feeling unworthy to be used by Jesus? Maybe you felt inadequately equipped to do His will. Many people in the Bible felt that way—Moses, Jonah, and Peter for example.
Un-confessed sin may have you cowering in a corner, feeling unworthy to be in His presence. That is your old nature whispering into your heart, not God. Jesus wants to be with you. That is why he died and rose again.
Read the second half of John 20:19 again. “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” Wherever you are Jesus is always there to meet you. Through His love for you, He offers you peace, not fear and forgiveness, not condemnation. Rejoice! Your Lord is present.
Dearest Lord, please forgive us when we try to shut you out of our lives. Instead, let us return to you to receive your mercy and your grace. Then, equip us to go forth and seek out other fearful souls to tell them how you met us where we are, and will do the same for them. Amen.
If you have been hiding something from Jesus, open yourself to Him now and confess it so He can offer you His peace. Practice spiritual breathing.