SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
John 20:19-31 (NIV)
¹⁹ On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors
locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with
you!” ²⁰ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when
they saw the Lord.
²¹ Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” ²² And with
that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. ²³ If you forgive anyone’s sins, their
sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
John 20:19-31 (NIV)
10:34-43, Mark 16:1-8.
Do you know what happens to people who live perfectly the way God wants
them to live, with complete love for God and for fellow human beings? It has
only happened once in the history of the world. He was crucified. In that
sense, Jesus was unique, the only one of his kind. He was fully and completely
human, yet so completely indwelt by the Spirit of God that people still call him
the Son of God. Unique!
His death was followed by another unique event. This is celebrated on Easter
Day with reminders of his empty tomb and appearances he made to his
followers after being raised from the dead. Being unique, the resurrection
cannot be compared with anything else in our experience. People have tried,
and many and varied have been their attempts to explain the Easter story in
terms of ordinary human experience. None of them work. None of them catch
the power of that resurrection, the power that transformed frightened disciples
into bold and confident witnesses to Jesus as the Saviour of the world.
A unique personality, a unique resurrection; yet the Gospel announces that we
can share in the Spirit of that unique person and share in the power of that
unique resurrection. Through faith and obedience to him we share the
indwelling of his Spirit within our own human spirits and share eternal life
with him in this world and the next.