New peace, new purpose

Slices

Prepare

Pray: ‘Lord God, let me receive the peace and purpose you have for me today.’
 

Bible passage

John 20:19–23

Jesus appears to his disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’

Word Live 41

Explore

A lot can happen in a day! One that began with burial rites, a missing body, angels and accusations now brings us to these locked doors, and leaderless disciples (v 19). One that saw a tomb of breathless confusion turn to belief, and a garden of grief turn to gladness, now shows us a room of fear. Having suspected graverobbers themselves, were the disciples afraid that the Jews would claim they had stolen Jesus’ body (Matthew 27:64)? Yet all our anxious, agitated defences are no barrier for Jesus. So we watch as fear fades in the powerful presence of peace. 

And that peace has a purpose. Every person of the Trinity participates in passing Jesus’ mission on to his disciples. The perfect ‘Sent One’ (as John often refers to Jesus) has completed the work entrusted to him by the Father and invites his disciples to continue it, equipped by the Holy Spirit. Sent ‘as’ Jesus was (vs 21,22), how are we to walk in our purpose? Whether others receive it through the gospel we preach or from us personally, forgiveness is primary (v 23). So, on this first day of the week, as at creation, chaos is brought under control by the Word of God as the breath of God is given to his people again. 

Author
Cath Butler

Respond

Which rooms in your life have you locked because of fear? Ask Jesus to pour out his peace, to show you his purposes and to breathe on you again. 
 

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year: Joshua 4,5; Romans 10

Pray for Scripture Union

Pray for wisdom and creativity for Commuications Assistant Nozipho Dube as she plans and creates content for SUM, our new social media channel to engage young adults in the work of Scripture Union. Pray that the content will build and inspire a younger generation of supporters.

The 95 block

Together, we can reach the 95% of children and young people not in church

Join us