Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. JOHN 20:19-20 NKJV
When we think about the resurrection of Jesus we usually focus on what happened that morning. Rightfully so, because the most significant miracle in the Bible–namely Jesus being raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit–happened that morning. Everything that took place after this event followed in the wake of that astounding event.
So, what took place that evening is also quite significant to our faith today. I believe that it shows what can happen as time goes on and as our focus gets off Jesus on to other things. If you read earlier in John chapter 20 you will see that the disciples came to the tomb when Mary told them that she found it empty. Peter and John ran to see the empty tomb but then returned to their own houses.
Can you identify with these verses? This past year we celebrated Easter weekend from home. It was a mixture of joy and sadness, faith and fear for many of us. This year as we have opened up more and more we can also identify that there may be a cautious attitude from many that even though we are assembled there is fear of those outside who would try to stop our gathering.
Jesus has an answer for us today. First of all He speaks peace to us. We can have a peace inside that is greater than the pressure outside. No matter how bad it gets in the world we can be of good cheer and have perfect peace because Jesus has overcome the world!
Second, Jesus shows the disciples the marks of His suffering. He took beating and crucifixion so we didn’t have to. He bore the punishment for our sin. In those hands and feet are the marks of our redemption and the proof of His purchase of our lives. We were bought with the price of His life. With His resurrection comes the forgiveness of sin, the renewal of our whole person, body, soul and spirit. We are now raised together with Him.
Notice that the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Focusing on the Lord changed their attitude from fear to gladness. Now they could hear the Lord’s commission to go and preach the gospel to others.
This year our celebrations of the Resurrection will be especially sweet because we will be both in person and online. The doors are open for the congregation that wants to celebrate together in person, and for those not comfortable yet coming we will have the same excellent online experience as always. In addition we are offering an outdoor viewing venue in our courtyard for those who want to be on the church campus but who are not yet comfortable being indoors.
Below are some thoughts for everyone to consider as we head in to our Easter weekend celebrations of the Resurrection.
How are we staying safe during Easter?
Through this entire pandemic, we have kept, at the forefront of our thinking that we would do everything “reasonably and responsibly.” We always want you and your families to be safer than ever while celebrating and worshipping God as we gather with the people of God. Keeping those concerns in mind, we will continue to have physical distance in our seating, hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the campus, sanitization and disinfecting procedures in place between every church service, and we ask that people respect others by wearing a mask when in shared spaces on campus. Additionally, as stated, we are offering an outdoor venue and will be hosting online experiences to give everyone the option of worshipping and celebrating with us.
The biggest and most effective tool for getting people to church is when you personally invite someone. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone to come! Get digital invite cards and more information about what’s happening at The Rock for Easter including childcare and getting a ride to church, visit our Easter event page at