This Sunday there will be people worshiping in the chilly outdoors as the sun rises over the lake, the large attendance for the Sunday services, the family dinner and all the other activities that are a part of our Easter observance.
After Supper one Easter evening, Lars Tharp led the family in prayer — as he did every evening — and then he opened The Holy Bible for their daily reading and discussion. The reading for the day was JOHN 20:19-31 — a reading about one of Jesus’ Post-Resurrection appearances.
“The day Jesus rose from the grave — at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors where shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Judeans, Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, Jesus showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw The Lord.”
What a belief-inspiring sight that first Easter appearance must have been! They saw The Man Who had been crucified, dead, and sealed in an airtight tomb for three days now standing alive in their very presence and saying, “Peace be with you.”
Guenther excitedly exclaimed, “Wow, just like that Abbott and Costello movie they had on tv the other night – you know, Dad, where they were in that haunted house and the ghost kept coming through the wall and scaring poor Costello.”
I guess even some adults confuse the scene in the upper room with a scene out of a B-movie in a 1940s double feature where a ghost comes floating through a wall to make an appearance. Nothing like that happened that evening in the upper room.
Lars smiled and said, “No, Guenther, it was nothing like that. You know Jesus is always present everywhere — He is here with us now — in this very place — at this very moment. We can feel His Presence as we pray and read God’s Words in The Holy Bible, we simply cannot see Him.
“That evening in the upper room, Jesus chose to have His disciples and the other followers gathered in that upper room see Him. Always invisibly present, He suddenly became visible. He even permitted them to see those horrible wounds which the nails had made in His wrists and ankles and to see the gaping wound in His side which had been made by that spear which the soldiers used to prove He was dead.
For 10 of His original disciples and the other followers gathered so fearfully in that upper room, seeing the resurrected Jesus was the path to believing in Him as their Lord and Saviour – the only true path to that ultimate wholeness and peace which only Jesus can give. And as He suddenly allowed Himself to be seen in their very midst, they knew that though no always visible to them He was never more than a prayer’s breath from them.