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126: Accept it. He is Risen! He is Alive!

May 15, 2009

Major Text:

Luke 24:36-43
John 20:21-25
John 20:26-31

Harmony Texts:

Mark 16:14       Luke 24:36-43       John 20:19-25

Outline:

  1. Jesus Appears with His Disciples Luke 24:36-43
  2. Jesus Commissions His Disciples John 20:21-23
  3. Jesus Appears with His Disciples Again John 20:24-28
  4. Jesus Commissions His Disciples Again John 20:29-31

Context/Discussion/Comments:

While the two men from Emmaus returned to Jerusalem the Lord evidently appeared to Peter alone [see I Cor. 15:5 and Luke 24:34]. The disciples have now heard from these two men about their experience too. So the disciples are talking about the appearances of the Lord when He suddenly appears before them. This all takes place Sunday night, most likely in the Upper Room.

Jesus’ first words are “Peace be with you”. These words are appropriate in that Jesus said He would give them His peace and leave them with His peace in that same Upper Room before He was led away to be crucified. The disciples first reaction was that they had seen a ghost but Jesus quickly steps in and shows them His feet and His hands and even lets them touch Him [remember that He would not let Mary Magdalene touch Him earlier that day]. Since the disciples still had difficulty accepting what they were seeing, He asks them for something to eat and proceeds to eat in their presence. Perhaps they all sat down together and shared a meal. We have no idea as to how long Jesus stayed that night.

But before He leaves He commissions His disciples with these words:

“Peace be with you. As the Father sent Me, I am sending you. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins they will be forgiven. If you do not forgive their sins they will not be forgiven.” In other words, Jesus is giving them Peace; He is giving them His Ministry; He is giving them the Holy Spirit; and He is giving them His Authority to assure others that their sins are forgiven if they believe in Him.

Jesus appears with His disciples again one week later. This time Thomas is there. He doubts because he has not had the privilege of seeing his Lord yet. Tonight is his night. Jesus enters with the same words of peace and asks Thomas to touch Him. Upon seeing Jesus, Thomas does not need to touch Jesus. He just acknowledges immediately that Jesus is his Lord and his God. In a way, Jesus re-commissions His disciples, particularly Thomas, with the words that they are blessed because they have seen but those who believe and have not seen are likewise blessed.

Lessons/Applications:

1. When Jesus enters your life, uncertainty and fear turns to joy. Let your face radiate that joy daily as you walk in fellowship with Him as your Lord and your God.

2. Believe those who witnessed His resurrection and be blessed with eternal life.

3. When Jesus enters your life, He not only offers peace but gives Peace. His Peace comes with assurance and confidence to be His Disciples. His Peace comes with the Holy Spirit to teach and to guide us in carrying on His Work. His Peace comes with the Gospel message enabling us to assure others that their sins are forgiven.

4. Doubt is easily removed with an eye-witness experience of meeting Jesus. We who believe are now the eye-witness for those who are doubting. Our testimony is an important instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit for removing doubt and enabling others to believe.

5. Because you believe, continue doing My Work. Although we were not present to behold His resurrection, we are full participants in His resurrection proclaiming His Peace, His Gospel, and His Power to forgive sin and grant assurance of eternal life.

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