A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 16
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24:36-39 NIV)
In this passage we find the resurrected Jesus suddenly appearing to the dazed and terrified disciples huddled behind closed doors in some secret location in Jerusalem. Aren’t we all kind of dazed and terrified right now as we huddle behind closed doors?
The disciples have heard about the empty tomb. The women told the disciples the incredible story of seeing and speaking to the resurrected Jesus, but the disciples can’t quite bring themselves to really believe it. They are still afraid and behind closed doors.
But then Jesus suddenly appears to them and wants to know why they are troubled. Jesus shows them his hands and feet. Jesus tells them to touch him. He’s real. He’s not a ghost. He even asked for something to eat. This resurrection story places Jesus on this side of the grave, here and now, in the midst of this life.
The good news of the resurrection is not just that we shall receive a reward someday and go to heaven, but that Jesus is a risen presence with us right now in our lives. This life we are living here on Earth is important. This life we are living right now matters.
The task that Jesus has for us that follow Him is to share that resurrected love with a hurting world. Jesus has work for us to do. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give a drink to the thirsty, care for the sick and visit the prisoner. We don’t just sit around and wait for our heavenly reward. What we do here and now matters to Jesus. Amen.