After the Cross
“During the forty days after he suffered and died, he (Jesus) appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.”1
This past weekend, we remembered and celebrated Jesus’ death and resurrection. Perhaps many of us are experiencing a renewed sense of awe as we think of the great love and mercy of our Savior, while others are experiencing a deep sense of repentance and gratitude for the unearned forgiveness that Jesus gave us. Most of us probably share the joy the women felt as they found the tomb empty that morning so long ago! Similar to the many emotions we may have after the cross, the disciples also experienced different emotions after Jesus was crucified.
One of the emotions the disciples were feeling was fear. John 20:19 tells says: “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.” Some might question why the disciples were feeling so much fear, since Jesus had told them we would rise from the dead. Was it because they didn’t understand or didn’t believe it? Honestly, after seeing firsthand what the Jewish leaders had just done to our Lord, it is hard not to think of what they could do to you!
Another emotion was doubt. We have all heard of “Doubting Thomas”, and perhaps we can identify with him! John 20:24 tells us that, “Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So they told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’” Thomas, like many of us, needed proof and was still hesitant even when he did see Jesus face to face!
Just like Jesus brought peace to the disciples who were filled with fear, and brought loving reassurance to Thomas when he doubted, Jesus offers the same to us today. When we come to know Christ as our Savior, we may feel such great excitement and gratitude, but when persecution comes our way, the fear and doubt sneak in. Instead of allowing these feelings to immobilize us and keep us from obeying the commandment of taking the Good News of Jesus to the world, let us cling to the hope that Jesus is with us always and is coming back again just as he promised! We have the power of the Holy Spirit within us and can truly rejoice and have the peace that only Jesus can give.
Suggested prayer: Lord, thank you for your loving patience that meets me where I am. Fill my heart with peace in all circumstances and may I boldly share Your Good News with others. May you find me serving faithfully when You return. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
1. Acts 1:3 (NLT).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.