Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)
Scripture Readings*: Acts 5:27-32, Psalm 150, Revelation 1:4-8, John 20:19-31
Honoring man and God often places us in a precarious position. The injunction imposed upon the apostles by the Sanhedrin council required a hard decision. Peter regards himself as a Jew, indicating that the early church existed as a fellowship within Judaism. The apostles’ proclamation is grounded upon what they had witnessed (the resurrection of Jesus), and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, who spoke through them.
John describes the Christ he knows. The phrase: “…who is and who was and who is to come” portrays Jesus as past, present, and future. In the past, Christ was the faithful witness (a Prophet) and the firstborn from among the dead, a Priest, loving us and freeing us from our sins. In the future, his return will be public; when all will recognize Him as King.
Jesus comes through locked doors in his glorified body and brings peace to these fearful men. Two times, Jesus speaks “peace” to them. The first “peace” is based on His sacrifice on the cross that cancelled the barrier of sin that distanced humankind from God. The second “peace” is received because of His presence with them.
What do we do with seasons of grief, doubt, and uncertainty? When those around us are celebrating an empty tomb but all we can see is the cross, how do we once again find faith?
Notice Jesus’ response to Thomas’ doubt. He appears. The One who defeated death, hell, and the grave doesn’t reveal Himself in a showy splash of splendor. Instead, He comes speaking peace. To his disciple wounded by grief and disbelief, He reveals His own wounds, offering a point of connection and healing.
Jesus, the wounded Healer, gives Himself to us in the same way. This is my body, broken for you. At the Lord’s Table, we too experience a Savior who meets our doubts and hurt, not with condemnation, but with compassion and an encouragement to come closer. In His presence, we find arms stretched out to receive us, enveloping our hurts in His own wounds, absolving and dissolving our doubts and fears. In Him, we are found; faith is resurrected, and Easter is experienced.
Prayer for Second Sunday of Easter – Loving God, as I am reconciled to you through the death and resurrection of Your Son, help me also to be strengthened to show in my life what I profess in my faith; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
*Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C