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Peace Be Unto You (sunrise)


Apr 9, 2023

by: Jack Lash Series: Easter | Category: Peace | Scripture: John 20:19

I. Introduction
A. Tell story
1. Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday.
2. He remained in the tomb on Saturday.
3. On Sunday morning, He arose from the dead, appearing only to some of His female disciples.
B. But! John 20:19 tells us that: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
II. Where the disciples were the doors were locked for fear of the Jews, and Jesus appeared among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
A. First, let’s talk about the disciples’ fear.
1. The disciples were frightened. They locked the doors and sat inside paralyzed.
2. What were they afraid of? Presumably they were afraid of the Jews doing the same thing to them they had done to Jesus.
3. They were in a panic largely because they had not prayed in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus had twice told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:40, 46.
4. Jesus HAD prayed and so He was ready. He faced His arresters calmly.
5. But the disciples panicked. They tried to fight with swords. They scattered. They denied Jesus. Only John was courageous enough even to show up at the cross.
6. And now they’re cowering in fear behind locked doors.
7. Fortunately for them, though they had failed to pray for themselves, Jesus had prayed for them. Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Satan demanded to have you and to sift you like wheat, but I’ve prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you’ve turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
B. Now Jesus doesn’t knock on the door, He just appears in the midst of these fearful disciples. And He pronounces peace upon them.
III. It seems that Christ’s blessing of peace includes at least two things here.
A. Jesus speaks peace to us as His enemies.
1. After their cowardly behavior on Good Friday, they probably expected Jesus to rebuke them. They expected Him to come in anger, but instead Jesus offers them peace.
2. And this aspects of His peace is true for us as well.
3. It is expected of God that He will come to us in anger since we have denied Him and betrayed Him and rejected Him. But instead He comes in peace.
4. Rom.5:8, 10 God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us...when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son.
5. This is why Jesus’ coming was announced by the angels as “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14).
6. We deserve His punishment, but instead He gives us His Son.
7. This is the good news. This is the gospel. This is God’s amazing grace.
B. But it’s the second one I’d like to focus in on. Jesus speaks peace into our hour of darkness.
1. But also Jesus was speaking peace to the fear the disciples were experiencing. He spoke peace into their hour of darkness.
2. First, let’s talk about the hour of darkness. In Luke 22:52-53, when they were arresting Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, it tells us that “Jesus said to the chief priests, the temple officers and the elders who had come against Him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours."” What does He mean that “this hour is yours”?
a. Well, the first thing to notice is that an hour is a short period of time. It’s very temporary. It is soon to be followed by another period of time. And that’s the idea here.
b. His arrest was the beginning of their hour, their temporary moment of apparent dominance, when God allowed it to look like evil was winning, the hour when the power of evil was allowed to shine and the power of Christ was hidden.
c. Jesus looked finished, especially later when His body was dead & laid in a sealed tomb.
d. It was about as final as it gets – or so it seemed.
e. This was the hour of darkness. And the disciples were still in that time of darkness when Jesus showed up to turn the light on.
f. You see, God is no respecter of how things look.
g. The cross wasn’t the end of the story. God had a plan all along. He’s always got something up His sleeve.
3. You see, darkness has an important place in every drama. There’s always a time when it looks like everything is going wrong. In God’s drama, which He has planned, He has made good use of darkness in order that the light will more brightly shine. There are times when He allows it to look like His enemies are winning. And in particular, there is one point where it looked like it was all over and the enemy had won. This seems to be what Jesus means by “your hour.”
4. It was their hour. But the story didn’t end with their hour, did it? Christ’s time was coming.
C. And our troubles are not the end of our story either.
1. Failure, defeat, tragedy, loss. These are never the end of the story for a Christian.
a. It may be the hour of tragedy/calamity. It may be the hour of darkness. But it’s only an hour.
2. In the hour of darkness, God hides Himself; Jesus is hidden (Colossians 3:3-4).
3. Christ is hidden, but He’s hidden only for a short time. Soon He’ll be revealed in power&glory.
4. Soon will come an end to the darkness. The light is about to dawn. The morning star has already arisen.
5. The darkness is always short-lived. Psalm 30:5 “God’s anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”
6. In the drama of God, the hour given over to the apparent victory of the enemy is soon coming to a close.
D. Think about the disciples. How could they have peace? The Jewish authorities were still hostile. They might be hunting for them right now. Nothing had changed that. So how could Jesus expect these men cowering in fear to suddenly be able to enjoy peace?
1. He could expect them to enjoy peace because He gave them the one thing they needed to have peace: He showed Himself to them. And that makes all the difference in the world.
2. You see, if the disciples had found a note Jesus had written before the cross, which said, “Peace be to you,” it wouldn’t have been the same. But He gave it to them IN PERSON!
3. So, the disciples see something they hadn’t seen before. They see Christ.
4. That’s also why we can have peace. It is a peace that surpasses human understanding (Phil.4:6) – because it is a peace that is based on something we see that the world can’t see.
5. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see Him too. Sometimes we lose sight of Him.
6. That’s why Paul prays for the Ephesians that God would open the eyes of their hearts Eph.1:18
7. And we pray for ourselves, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see You.”
IV. Conclusion
A. Beloved, our day of resurrection hasn’t yet come.
1. Our Sunday of triumph is coming, but this is our Friday of the cross.
2. This is not a day of ease and pleasure.
3. This is a day of waiting for our reward.
4. This is the day of carrying our cross.
5. This is the day of laying down our lives for others.
6. This is the day of pouring out our lives as an offering before God.
7. This is the day when it looks to God’s enemies like Christ has no power & Christians are fools.
B. But Jesus speaks peace to us in our day of fear.
1. The One who endured His Friday of shame with peace now comes alongside us to strengthen us with His peace as we go through our day of pain and shame.
2. The disciples were frightened captives, locked in their little shelter of fear. But Jesus came to set them free from their prison of fear – and spoke His peace into their lives.
3. And so it is today. Jesus doesn’t want us cowering in our little shelters of fear.
4. He wants to speak His peace into our lives. He “has not given us a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of love and power and self-control.” (2Tim.1:7)
5. When He is with us, we can throw aside the fear of man, the fear of death, the fear of danger, the fear of failure, the fear of humiliation, the fear of rejection.
6. Every morning Jesus is saying to you, “Peace be with you!”
a. In the face of tragedy He is saying to you, “Peace be with you!”
b. In the midst of overwhelming stress He is saying, “Peace be with you!”
7. The One who calmed the storm wants to calm you. He wants to say to that raging tempest inside, “Peace, be still.”
a. “Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He let’s the storm rage and calms His child.”
8. If you belong to Jesus, He has peace for you.