Easter 2—Quasimodo Geniti 2023 (Jn 20, 19–31)

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Jesus said, “Peace be with you.”

᛭ INI ᛭

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

(5. Oops!: Fear, unrest, unbelief abound!)

The world talks a lot about peace, but the truth is humanity isn’t addicted to it. While there’s this constant desire and craving for peace, it’s never found. In fact, the world’s addicted to fear. It’s been this way ever since the Garden, when Adam said to Jesus, “I heard the sound of you in the Garden, and I was afraid, so I hid myself.” (Gen 3)

Fear is everywhere. There’s, of course, the TV news cycle. There’s the headlines of newspapers, magazines, and even tabloids. There’s always something to be afraid of! In fact, the scary headlines on news websites are the ones that get clicks. The scarier the headlines, the more clicks you get, and so more revenue. Computer algorithms and AI give people what they often seek: fear!

We all know there’s no peace, because lets say something that’s in the headlines gets resolved, or let’s say a really scary prediction doesn’t come true, there’s always the next bigger scarier thing around the corner, and your TV, your phone, your friends, your facebook, or whatever social media outlet you might use, are all telling you what to be afraid of next.

Like the disciples, we think there’s good reason to hunker down! “The doors were locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews.” They had good reason. They’d killed Jesus! They could all be next! In the same way, the world is terrified, anxious, fearful. Afraid of war, of weather, of wealth (money), of whatever’s going to happen next! This is the way not just of fear. It’s the way of unbelief!

(4. Ugh!: These things stir in our hearts, too!)

It’s not just the world, though. Is it? Don’t these same fears, anxieties stir in your heart, too? It’s the stirring and churning of unbelief! That God isn’t God. The doubt if He even exists, and even if He does, the dread that He won’t actually take care of you. It’s the fear and unbelief that Jesus’ tomb isn’t empty. The unbelief that the dead stay dead, that death is the end, that death and nothingness is the only thing that’s actually true and worth believing.

Unbelief churns up fear and anxiety or worry and anger at what’s happening in the world or at what’s gone on in your life. Unbelief keeps on churning, too. It’s seen also in the remedies we try to relieve our anxieties within and our fears without. We “seek peace and pursue it,” (Ps 34) but in all the wrong places! Mindlessly doom scrolling on our phones, watching our sports, reading our books, watching TV shows or movies or YouTube, or drinking—often not gifts but fake remedies. These often consume more of us than we of them, which gives, in the end, more unrest and not the peace we’re after.


Jesus says today, “Peace be with you.” He also says, “Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11) So, what do we have here? Put down your false sources of peace away, for your sake and your neighbor’s, and take the offer of Jesus’ peace. (Sure do that. It’s good for you. But there’s more from Jesus than that.)

It’s not just a hope from Jesus, or an offer, or some principle you’ve got to realize for yourself and apply to your life. When Jesus says, “Peace be with you,” He means: “Peace is yours!” “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (Jn 14)

You see Jesus’ peace isn’t just out there somewhere for you to find and hope you do and make it your own. No, Jesus delivers it! That’s what Jesus is doing today! Not just in our text in John 20. It’s what He doing TODAY, right now. Today, like in John 20,


(2. Whee!: The peace comes from His scars!)

It’s good news—great news!—that THE RISEN AND SCARRED JESUS COMES TO DELIVER PEACE. The peace comes from Jesus because He was wounded, because He is scarred. The disciples didn’t rejoice after Jesus said, “Peace is yours.” They rejoiced in that peace after He showed them His scars! “When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”

His wounds tell us that we have peace with God. You don’t have to worry about your sins, your fears, your dread that God won’t take care you, even your fake remedies! He forgives all your sins because of Jesus’ wounds. As we heard in Isaiah 53 on Good Friday: “By His wounds”—Jesus’ wounds—“we are healed,” that is, we are forgiven. “He forgives all our iniquities; heals all our diseases,” (Ps 103) not just body, but soul!

There’s peace for our daily lives, too, because Jesus’ wounds aren’t wounds anymore. They’re scars! He’s been raised from the dead. The disciples saw Him: “We have seen the Lord!” Christ being raised means we have peace, daily living “in the assurance of holy and certain hope.” You really can set aside your false remedies because Christ lives! And “because [Christ] lives, you will live also,” (Jn 14) and so “neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, can separate you from God’s love, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Rom 8)

And, as Jesus says later in Ezekiel 37(:26), “I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them.” It’s an everlasting covenant of peace because Jesus’ scars remain! He is forever “the Lamb looking like He was slain.” (Rev 5) It’s a peace that’s eternal because Jesus is risen and scarred!

(1. Yeah!: He makes sure you get it!)

It’s true that Jesus is risen and scarred, but He’s not done. Salvation finished, but not done because THE RISEN AND SCARRED JESUS COMES TO DELIVER PEACE. That’s what He did in the locked upper room. He showed it to them—“hands and side.” He spoke it to them three times, “Peace is yours.”

Jesus still delivers it, and like any good delivery man He delivers it in boxes—voice-boxes! “The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone His sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” So, Jesus sends forth His pastors, His chosen men, to deliver His peace, the forgiveness of sins. There’s a great need for pastors these days. “The harvest is plentiful, the workers are few.” Even some of you young men—high school age, college age, just beyond, or even farther still! (Peter was an old man, compared to John who was quite young.) As the Lord made those fishermen fishers of men, so also farmers can be harvesters of men.

His Word of Peace, His forgiveness, comes through the voice-boxes of the preachers. “He who hears you, hears Me.” (Lk 10) It comes to the fearful, the doubting, the unbelieving! “Don’t be unbelieving, but believing!” And Jesus’ Word does what it says—it made Thomas a believer: “My Lord and My God!”

Jesus Word of Peace, of forgiveness, flows also from His scars! “Out of his side, flowed blood and water.” In Communion of His body and blood, and in Baptism which unites us to His death, His peace, His forgiveness is delivered through the voice-box and hands of His minister.

There’s still more peace to come. Jesus will call out on the Last Day, as is prophesied in Ezekiel’s Vision today. “I will raise you from your graves.” A locked door didn’t stop Jesus, and neither will your grave vault and locked casket. He will resurrect you so that you may dwell in His everlasting peace. THE RISEN AND SCARRED JESUS COMES TO DELIVER PEACE, even on the Last Day. “Then You will know that I AM the LORD” (Ezek 37), and you’ll praise Him—“My Lord and My God”—forever.

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

᛭ INI ᛭

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