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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Saturday, April 25

Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
—Luke 24:35

When the Risen Christ first appears to his disciples, his first words to these men are, “Peace be with you.” They have left him in the hands of Roman authorities. Peter has denied him. They have hardly been at their best during his trial and crucifixion.

Yet his first words to them as the Risen Christ are not embittered or accusatory. “Peace be with you,” he says.

The disciples are “startled and terrified.” (Luke 24:37) No doubt. It is not necessarily good news to them that Jesus has been raised from the dead.

For one thing, it means that they have to be honest about their failures and their betrayals. The relationship can’t go forward unless they allow themselves to admit what they have done and what they have not done.

“Peace be with you.” These words allow them the possibility of starting anew. They are not being put on the defensive. hey are not needing to whitewash the events of the days before. The Risen Christ comes to them, shows them wounded hands and feet, and breathes peace into the room shadowed with fear, shame and denial.

The new creation begins. Men whose souls had been darkened by both grief and their own acts of cowardice and infidelity receive the life-restoring breath of the living Christ. Deep within, they are changed. The newly risen life of Christ begins to transform them. And nothing will be the same.

Whatever shame or fear may lurk in your soul, allow the Risen Christ to breathe peace into you. Allow the newness to gently, steadily, quietly begin to open your heart and soul. Allow the breath of God in Christ to breathe in you.

May your breath be in me O Christ, that I may breathe your peace. Amen.