Easter 2—Quasimodo Geniti (Jn 20, 19–31; 1 Jn 5, 4–10

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Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you.” After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Therefore the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus therefore said to the them again, “Peace be with you.”

᛭ INI ᛭

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Where can you find peace? We live in a world desperate for peace, but since peace is scarce, there is often none to be found. The world’s peace is temporary at best or just a façade. I’m not just talking about the current geo-political situation, or the global financial picture. It’s in our individual day to day worlds. It’s our own inability, our own disquiet, over anyone who disagrees with us. Worldly peace is found when everyone holds to our ideas.

Jesus is all about peace. He says it 3x in our Gospel reading: “Peace be with you.” He’s all about peace because “He Himself is our peace” (Eph 2), “making peace by the blood of His cross.” (Col 1) After all, “He’s the One who came through water and the blood.” “A solider pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (Jn 19)

So, Jesus is peace, and so peace is all matter of looking for Jesus. Where do you see Him? You won’t see Him in the tomb. The last time anyone saw Him there was when they sealed it up Good Friday evening. After that, no one ever saw Him in that tomb: He came back to life!

Look into His wounds, His scars! “You seek Jesus who was crucified.” (Mk 16) “He showed them His hands and side.” “Thomas, see My hands.” He is forever “the Lamb who looks like He was slain.” (Rev 4) In His hands and side you see peace.

But it’s not just looking into His wounds. His words, too. Has to be that. He said it 3x: “Peace be with you.” Look into His Words, and see your peace. In hearing there is receiving, and receiving there is believe. “Faith comes by hearing” (Rom 10), “and the one who believes in the Son of God has God’s witness in himself.”

This Quasimodo Geniti Sunday, we’re looking into Jesus’ wounds and words because

JESUS’ WOUNDS AND WORDS DELIVER PEACE.

(I. Only Jesus’ wounds deliver true peace.)

Jesus’ wounds deliver true peace, the forgiveness of sins. That’s what Jesus demonstrates in John 20, and it’s also seen in how the disciples react to seeing Jesus. He says “peace,” then He shows them the source of that peace, and then He says “peace” again. They are forgiven! He “made peace by the blood of His cross,” blood that poured out from those hands and feet and side. Only once they’d looked into the wounds and scars of their risen Jesus could they “rejoice.” That’s the peace He leaves with them, not as the world gives. (Jn 14) It’s the peace all the heavenly host praise Him for forever. (Rev 5:12)

We, however, try to find peace in so many other things—distractions! Distractions that drive us away from our crucified and risen Jesus. Peace in books. Peace in shows. Peace in sports. Peace in bottles. Peace in work, in chores, in hobbies. Peace in unspeakable things. But that peace lasts only as long as we can keep it going, shifting from one to the next and then back again, rinse and repeat, over and over again, running the rat race of endless anxiety. False gods. No peace with God or with each other. We’re dissatisfied with God. No wonder we often “bite and devour one another,” (Gal 6) as Paul says.

But the wounds of Jesus work peace. There we see peace on display. This is why a crucifix and not an empty cross is so important. We’re confronted, visually, by the wounds of our peace, the blood that worked our peace, the death that silenced the wrath of God. His wounds make peace with God—your sins are paid for, even every false peace we try. His wounds also deliver peace with each other. “He Himself is our peace, breaking down the dividing wall of hostility [between Jew and Gentile.]” (Eph 2) But that goes for all of us! We relate to each other as died for by Jesus—forgiven. We are united with something more permanent than nails or glue. We’re united by the nail scars of Jesus and His blood.

(Transition.)

Look into His wounds, His scars! “You seek Jesus who was crucified.” (Mk 16) “He showed them His hands and side.” “Thomas, see My hands.” He is forever “the Lamb who looks like He was slain.” (Rev 4) In His hands and side you see peace.

But it’s not just looking into His wounds. His words, too. Has to be that. He said it 3x: “Peace be with you.” Look into His Words and see your peace. In hearing there is receiving, and receiving there is believing. “Faith comes by hearing” (Rom 10), “and the one who believes in the Son of God has this witness in himself.”

We’re looking into Jesus’ wounds and words because

JESUS’ WOUNDS AND WORDS DELIVER PEACE.

(II. Jesus delivers His peace right to you in His peace-filled Word.)

Jesus speaks peace to His people, to His saints. He spoke it to the Apostles. He speaks it to you, too. Peace for the 10. Peace for unbelieving Thomas. Peace for you and for me. He actually says, “Peace be with you,” and peace is actually delivered in those words. “Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say,” peace!

So the Lord is always in the business of delivering His peace, the forgiveness of sins. He delivers it through His Word. It’s why He created the Office of the Ministry. “As the Father sent Me, even so I am sending you.” Men sent out to deliver His gifts to His people. The Gift of Absolution is recorded for us in John 20. Men sent with Jesus authority to forgive sins before God in heaven—eternal peace. But there’s more to deliver!

“The Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree…this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.” You have the witness of that Spirit, that water, and that blood in you by faith. It’s received in Holy Baptism—“washing of water and the word” (Eph 5) “the washing of rebirth in the Spirit” (Tit 3), “the testimony of clean conscience through Jesus’ resurrection.” (1 Pet 3) Also the blood—“the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

All given so that we’d believe the peace. Only Jesus’ wounds and words deliver a peace that turns the unbelieving so that they are believing. Thomas believes at the sight Jesus’ wounds and the sound of Jesus’ word (“Do not disbelieve, but believe”). “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That’s you and me. “So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given [John 20:22]. He works faith, when and where it pleases God [John 3:8], in those who hear the good news that God justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake. This happens not through our own merits, but for Christ’s sake.” (Augsburg Confession, V: The Ministry)

(Conclusion.)

Where can you find peace? Where do you look? The only place with lasting peace, with eternal peace, a “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4) is seen in the wounds and words of Jesus.

You won’t see Him in the tomb. He’s alive, yet eternally the One “who was crucified,” “the Lamb who looks like He was slain.” All for you. He made peace by His wounds. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; by His wounds you’ve been healed” (Is 53), forgiven. Those wounds visually preached by a crucifix. (Gal 3:1) But even more peace for you to see and to hear! Look! Listen! Font: Peace. Lectern: Peace. Pulpit: Peace. Altar: Peace. “My body and blood for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

JESUS’ WOUNDS AND WORDS DELIVER PEACE.

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

᛭ INI ᛭

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