Jesus Appears to His Disciples John 20:19-23
New International Version (NIV)
19 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!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
I can't imagine how scared the disciples must have been - their loving Lord had been crucified! The one thing that struck me about verse 20 was that Jesus didn't just assume they would automatically believe he was risen. He knew - he had walked the earth as a human being - he had experienced all of the emotions we experience - fear, anxiety, joy, humor, dread. He automatically knew they would want some kind of proof it was really him. AND the first words he spoke were to dispell some of the negative emotions we experience - fear, anxiety, dread. "Peace be with you!"
We have an empathetic, loving Lord! He knows the emotions that can paralyze us from the missional mandate Pastor spoke about on Sunday. Jesus, further, sent us help! He sends the Holy Spirit to us NOW even as he "breathed on them" back then. Jesus gives us the purpose, the authority, and the urgency to act now. I believe this - do you?