Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24;36
Peace be with you but what did Jesus mean when he said this.
On Tuesday I went for a sermon prep walk, down to the coast guards cottages at Langton Herring on the Fleet in Dorset. It was so peaceful with an air of tranquility. It was so so peaceful, I cant really explain how I felt.Suddenly something spooked the birds and they started tweeting. In a field nearby a pheasant was calling and I suddenly became aware of the sound my feet were making as I walked along the gravel path but this didn’t transcend the peace and tranquility. It was if the noises were God drawing my attention to the surroundings, say “hello, take a look, enjoy ,be inspired by the beautiful world that surrounds you”
I felt the sun on my face and just could’t stop but think what a beautiful part of the world, and how fortunate I am that God has placed me here.
His gift to me.
But it got me thinking ,what did Jesus mean. Was it just a greeting, Shalom, to his friends, is traveling companions or was it something deeper.
“Peace be with you” Those words are profound – through his gift of peace Jesus is healing their memories. They had vivid memories of their time with him, as fellow travelers on the road, but not all of their memories were good. There was the Garden of Gethsemane of course, the memory of how they had deserted Jesus, leaving him to face his trial and execution alone. And uppermost in Peter’s memory would have been the scene outside the high priest’s house when he had denied any knowledge of Jesus, and had sworn and cursed at the mention of his name. A memory that would have cut him to the quick, sickening him every time he thought about it, perhaps making him wonder whether he could go on living with himself. The sort of memory that only God’s forgiveness can heal.
And now the risen Jesus is with them, offering not anger at their betrayal, desertion and denial, but peace, healing and a new beginning. Their memories can’t be forgotten or wiped out; we know that in our own lives – yet they can be taken up, healed, and held in God’s peace. The power that bad memories have to blight and diminish lives is replaced by a greater power; the power of God’s forgiveness, won through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. That power, that peace, set them free and it can do the same for us today.
Then I thought about Philippians 4:7 where we have a wonderful promise: “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is important to note the context of this promise, because that’s where we find the condition: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” God’s peace is promised to guard those who pray—with thanksgiving—about everything. This peace will transcend our ability to understand it.
The believer who places his or her full confidence in a loving God and is thankful in every circumstance will possess a
supernatural peace. An inner calm will dominate the heart. The faithful believer will know peace—his heart and mind are “guarded” by it—despite the tempest raging without. No one, especially those outside of Christ, will be able to fathom that peace. To most, it will remain a mystery how someone can be so serene in the midst of turmoil.
The peace that comes from being in a right relationship with God is not the peace of this world. The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27).
God’s supernatural peace surpasses natural understanding.
God’s supernatural peace is beyond our understanding.
God’s supernatural peace is personal to us all.
God’s supernatural peace is at the heart of out relationship with him.
God’s supernatural peace is for us all
The Fleet, Weymouth ,Dorset