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Second Sunday of Easter (1905)

John 20:19-23 Our Gospel directs our attention again to the Easter facts, to the resurrection of our Lord. It was on the evening of Easter Day. Now we hear how He manifests Himself to all His disciples, with the exception of Thomas, as the Risen One. The first word that they hear from the mouth of their resurrected Savior is His Easter greeting: "Peace be with you". This greeting envelopes the whole result of His Easter message. We direct our attention in particular today to this Easter greeting. The Easter greeting of the Risen One: "Peace be with you." 1. what precious content it has; a. On the evening of the day of resurrection the disciples were together. Their hearts were still full of sadness. Probably they had already all heard the Easter message from different perspectives. But they still did not believe that their Lord was risen. Fear of the Jews moved their heart and, above all, they still had a bad conscience, because they had forsaken the LORD. Then suddenly the Lord is in their midst and says His greeting to them.1 And at the same time he shows them His hands and side. As they saw the Lord, the disciples were glad.2 All fear had now disappeared. Peace moved into their heart. This did not happen primarily due to the mere appearance of the Lord, but because He came to them with such a friendly greeting. b. And truly they had reason for rejoicing. For how precious is this greeting. This was no ordinary greeting in human fashion, Christ's words are spirit and life. With these words He imparts peace to His disciples, peace with God, forgiveness. This is the fruit of the resurrection of Christ: that we have peace with God. The Lord showed His disciples His hands and side. This He did therefore to remind them of His suffering and death. Because of this He has obtained for us forgiveness of sins, because of this He has satisfied God's wrath and has reconciled Him with us. Christ administers to us this purchased peace, the risen Christ, to his disciples. The resurrection of Christ makes us especially certain that the work of our redemption is accomplished, is led out jubilantly to the end. It makes us certain that we have a reconciled God, that we have peace with God. The resurrection of Christ is the absolution of the whole sinful world that God Himself has pronounced. This Easter greeting has precious meaning. He pledges peace with God to the disciples and therefore forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. But is this greeting really for us and not for the disciples alone? The Lord is no longer with us and greets us with such a lovely greeting. We see,
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John 20:19. John 20:20.

2. that this greeting is also for us. a. We can rest assured that the Lord also greets us even now, as He did His disciples. Although He is no longer visible to us, He is through the Word. God has instituted the office of the Word, the Preaching Office. He sends His disciples as the Father has sent Him, to proclaim to the world the purchased peace through Christ.3 And this is the same glorious greeting that the Lord first said to His disciples. What His servants preach to us is as certain as if the Lord Himself spoke it.4 Forgiveness of sins is preached to all mankind, even to us. The full absolution is brought to us in the Word, and it is so certain, even before God in heaven, as if our dear Lord Christ Himself dealt with us. b. Forgiveness of sins is offered, administered, and given to us through the Word of the Gospel. But we must receive it in repentant faith. Whoever simply believes, has it. The sins of the unrepentant shall be retained. And even this word is firm and certain.5 God will grant us all true faith in the Easter greeting of our Savior: "Peace be with you." Georg Mezger

John 20:22. John 20:23. 5 ibid.

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