Peace be unto you

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And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. Luke 24:36-37

Mark the surprising contrast between the word that Jesus spoke to the disciples and their response. Peace is what every human being is in some sense looking for. We want world peace, peace in our families, peace at our places of labor, and peace in our own hearts. Above all, we need peace with God. But as it is in the world, so it is in our hearts: peace seems so often elusive and evasive. Nevertheless, what greater confidence could one have that peace - objective peace, real peace - was theirs, than that it was promised to them by none other than the Son of God himself?

And yet we read that "they were terrified and affrighted." Their response to God's sure promise of peace was terror, not comfort. Why? It was because the promise of peace did not come to them in the way they would have either expected or wanted. They never expected the Messiah to be crucified. And they certainly never expected a resurrected Messiah, either. Hence, when our Lord shows up in their midst, they are caught totally unawares and unprepared to hear the very words which should have brought them intense joy and undiluted peace.

In the same way, I think we often miss out on the comfort God intends for us to have because in his providence he has not come to us in ways that we expected. But we need to remember that God will not be domesticated by us. He is often not predictable because he is not like us. One thing we do need to remember: Jesus will always be true to his word, even as he often works in ways that we would have never expected, and when we think everything is against us, we need to remember that we serve a Savior who died but came back to life again and is alive forevermore. Don't measure the confidence you have in him by your expectations but by his sure word. When God speaks peace to us in Christ, you can take that to the bank. Indeed, let's do exactly that.