SCRIPTURE: John 20: Verse 22
The same day Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to Mary, walked with the two disciples on the Emmaus road to Jerusalem. There was a bustle, uproar, confusion, and frenzy all over Jerusalem about the body of Jesus Christ.
The talk around town was that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus while the soldiers slept. Nobody spoke about the negligence of the soldiers or their punishment for sleeping on guard duty. The soldiers’ story was not credible or convincing as the elders fuelled the confusion to advance their social and political agenda in Jerusalem.
It was in this state of turmoil that the disciples who had scattered to other towns upon the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus returned to Jerusalem. They assembled in a house for fear of the Jews. They closed the doors of the house, locked it and barred the house to protect them from the mob which accused them of stealing the body of Christ and to avoid arrest by the authorities.
While they were hiding in the barricaded house, Jesus, unannounced, by his omnipotent power, caused the bars and doors to give way to him and let him inside among them to: immediately let them know that he was not an enemy to arrest them but to fulfill his promise that he would return to be with them.
This divine appearance reminds us that Jesus is always with us at all times and places. He would never leave us nor forsake us.
To further relieve the disciples’ fears, Jesus showed them his hands and his side to build up the faith of the disciples for they had little left after the crucifixion.
Jesus appeared in person so that the disciples would have personal, direct and the best evidence of his resurrection. Jesus removed all the speculation, rumours and half-truths that arose from hearsay and second hand evidence about his crucifixion and resurrection.
The disciples were happy to see Jesus and were fully convinced and satisfied that he was raised from the dead.
Jesus gave them his peace to pacify their guilty consciences.
They were distressed and troubled by their conduct towards Jesus. He gave them peace to heal sorrow of grief and pain from their denial of him. Jesus gave them peace with God; peace in their consciences; peace with one another and peace in Christ.
After he gave them his peace, Jesus breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Jesus gave the disciples the Spirit to influence their lives; to give them comfort and courage; to prepare them for their mission to preach the Gospel and to do his will.
When we receive the Holy Spirit we live blessed, prosperous, victorious, peaceful, satisfied lives and His graces of the Spirit are increased.
Not to receive the Holy Spirit lead to debate, envy, wrath, strife, backbiting, slander, quarrel, divided church etc. (Acts 19:2)
Receive the Holy Spirit.