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April 21, 2014

He's Here!

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you,’ He said.”

John 20:19 (NLT)

I can only imagine what the atmosphere must have been like in that locked room where the disciples were meeting. Fear that they may be next to be crucified, confusion with what they believed now, amid bewilderment from recent news of what some of the women told them about seeing Jesus alive! Could it be true? Impossible! No one could convince them. Luke records their response to the women, “… the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.” (Luke 24:11NLT) In the midst of that unbelief, suddenly, Jesus appeared standing there among them! Keep in mind that the doors were locked! How did He get in? Where did He come from? No wonder His first words were, “Peace be with you.” Imagine if He had said, “Boo!” He would have had to raise half of them from the dead right then and there! Remarkably, after appearing to all the disciples and the women, and two Christ followers who were walking on a road, still, Thomas said, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.” (John 20:25 NLT) Eight days later Jesus would appear to them again, and this time Thomas was there. Once again, the doors were locked, and just like the last time, Jesus suddenly appears to them! This time He spoke directly to Thomas. When Thomas saw Jesus he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” What Jesus said next is for you and me. “Then Jesus told him, ‘You believe because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me.’” (John 20:29 NLT) You and I can’t see Jesus with our physical eyes, but faith wouldn’t be faith if we could. Jesus said we are blessed when we believe without seeing. There are many things I believe in that I’ve never seen. The greatest among them is the risen Christ! He’s back! Jesus is alive! His resurrection meant that their lives and ours will never be the same again!