Monday, April 17, 2017

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
Beyond the Resurrection: Jesus’ Promise of Peace
On Easter Monday (yesterday, Apr. 19th/17) we used the acronym-- “H.E.  I.S. R.I.S.E.N. --to briefly investigate the significance of Jesus’ Resurrection. During the Advent Season (2016) we addressed the prophecies that were fulfilled at Christ’s birth and the various elements and characters that played a part in the God-orchestrated pageantry. During the Lenten Season, which concluded on Holy Saturday (Apr. 15th/17), we:  recalled that “In the beginning was the Word,” (Jn. 1: 1-3);  caught glimpses of Jesus’ early life, including His birth and what life was like for male children during His life; and discovered that Jesus’ central teaching focused on the Kingdom. Furthermore, we looked at: Jesus’ baptism, 40 day fast in the desert, the calling of the disciples, Jesus’ mission, mentoring of the disciples, His miracles, and teachings, including the central focus on the Kingdom, His final months on earth and last week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
Thus far we have shared together in the journey From the Cradle to the Crown.  For the next few days, we will cover the “Beyond”; the Resurrection was just the beginning-- what’s next?
The Prince of Peace: Promises His Peace
In His post-Resurrection appearances, Jesus showed up in the midst of His disciples, saying, “Peace be with you.”  Yet, why would Jesus say this to the disciples—unless they were afraid?  Surely, this band of tough, seasoned disciples; which included fishermen and a tax collector, was not fearful to see their beloved Master. Additionally, they had become even more street-smart as they spent three years travelling with Jesus.  In spite of that, when Jesus was arrested, the disciples scattered in fear. Plus, they knew that Christ had been crucified—you can’t get any more dead than that, right?  So, because they hadn’t understood Jesus’ teaching re: His crucifixion and Resurrection, they thought that they were seeing a ghost.

When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His return to heaven, He comforted, taught, and instructed the disciples, promising, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” (Jn. 14: 27, NIV). Jesus knew they would need to hold onto this promise, because He was able to see beyond their tough exteriors to their sensitive hearts.  He didn’t want them to feel abandoned, alone, and overwhelmed (Jn. 14:18-20). So, He promised His disciples His peace before the arrest and crucifixion took place. However, in His post-Resurrection appearances, Jesus greeted His fearful disciples with, “Peace be with you!) Then He showed them the marks in His hands and side. At that point, Jesus was welcomed with great joy. [And He] repeated, “Peace be with you!” (Jn. 20:21-23). The Apostles’ lives were transformed by Christ’s peace and the baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

The awesome news is that we, too, can have Jesus’ ‘peace that passes understanding’ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our lives. His promise of peace is also for us, 
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (Jn. 16:33).

Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)

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