The disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. John 20:19
On Easter Sunday morning Christians boldly proclaim “Christ is risen indeed!” They stand ready to confess the risen Christ and live for Him. But once the Easter glow fades, the twin enemies of Easter – fear and doubt – creep in to weaken that Easter faith.
At the time of our text Christ has risen. Mary of Magdala has seen Him alive and tells the disciples. Nevertheless, fear grips them in the upper room. They lock the doors for fear. No Easter for them. No joy. No hope. Only fear.
Does fear stand between you and the risen Christ – fear of death, fear of cancer or a heart attack, fear of loneliness, fear of failure, fear of financial problems, fear of the unknown? How do you lock the doors to protect yourself? Are you trying to hide, pretend, keep busy, or build false security in order to handle your fear? Nothing will work. At root, fear exposes our unbelief, which is sin. No Easter. No joy. No hope. Only fear.
In the John account, however, Jesus conquers fear. He comes right through the locked doors and says, “Peace be with you!” He shows the disciples His hands and side. Christ crucified lives and has forgiven their sins. The disciples, no longer afraid, rejoice and go on Christ’s mission to forgive sins.
The same crucified and risen Christ comes to us also, through His Word. He breaks down our locked doors and conquers our crippling fears with the words, “Peace be with you!” He assures us in the water and Word of our baptism. He brings forgiveness in the bread and wine of Holy Communion. No longer afraid, we rejoice and go on Christ’s mission to forgive sins.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess my unbelief when fear takes over as the enemy of Easter. Thank You for Your resurrection presence in my life through Word and sacrament. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)