Monday, April 10, 2023
The experience of peace is impossible for the human soul without the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Peace is ultimately the absence of fear. From a political perspective, peace is the absence of war, but there is still the possibility that war could erupt, which causes fear. So long as war is a possibility there can be no real peace. From a relational perspective, peace is the harmony and fellowship of friends, but there is always the possibility of discord and argument, thus producing an element of fear. So long as there is the possibility of broken relationship there can be no real peace. From a personal perspective, peace is prosperity and security, but that is contingent upon factors outside of our control. So long as poverty and injury are possible there can be no real peace.
On the very day the disciples discovered that Jesus was not in the grave, they huddled together behind locked doors in fear. A war could erupt at any moment, and they would be in the minority position. Soldiers could pound on their door demanding their lives just as they had taken their Lord’s life. All fellowship with their friends and society had been broken. Their financial security was in grave doubt and their hope for personal safety was gone. They had no peace.
John 20:19-21 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
It is very significant that when Jesus appeared to them, He twice commanded peace to be with them. Because of His resurrection from the dead, Jesus was able to offer to the disciples and to us what the world cannot offer – real peace. In His resurrection power Jesus can conquer all the fear of human existence by putting everything into the realm of spiritual existence. Our spiritual life with Christ conquers all human fear. In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul writes, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity…” (NLT). The Spirit of God has no fear, and when we walk in the spirit and not according to the flesh, all fear is vanquished and peace reigns in our hearts.
For the Christian, peace is the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, having nothing to fear from God and nothing to fear from the earth because its hope is not in the flesh but in Jesus. Fear is removed because no more war is necessary – Jesus has won the victory over all enemies already. Earthly wars may still exist, but the ultimate war has already been won. Relational fear is conquered because nothing can separate us from the love of God if we are living in Christ Jesus. Our relationship with Jesus is permanent and unbreakable.
Personal fear is also eliminated, because we no longer live for the prosperity and security of the world but in the present reality of total spiritual prosperity and security. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing from on high in Jesus Christ, and we have been made joint heirs with Him of all things for all eternity. We have reserved for us in heaven an incredible inheritance that cannot be taken away because it is being kept for us by the power of God. That’s security!
With all fear removed, we can experience real peace. That was the first message of Jesus to His disciples after His resurrection – peace can be yours if you trust me and not the world. Maybe this is the day you will make that choice. Peace be with you.