“Peace be with you.”
Those were the first words spoken by Jesus upon appearing to his disciples on Easter. This was later in the day, in the evening, after he had already appeared to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb that morning. The disciples were gathered in a house in Jerusalem, presumably the same one in which they had shared the last supper, although the passage from John (chapter 20 verse 19) tells us that the doors of the house were now locked for fear of the Jews:
On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
The scripture then informs us that Jesus showed them the nail wounds in his hands, and the wound in his side left by the spear, at which point he then repeated, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
How is it possible that even after being crucified, Jesus was still preaching peace? But apparently he was. Even the experience of being nailed to a cross did not change his convictions–that the only hope for humanity’s survival lay in choosing the path of peace, love, and forgiveness.
We are in the darkest time now in the history of humanity. You think the so-called “Dark Ages” were dark? Do you fancy that the “Black Death,” the bubonic plague outbreak which swept through Europe in the 1300s, was a rough chapter of history? Both were periods of brilliant sunlight, a picnic in the park, compared to what we’re facing now.
The only hope we have of avoiding a mass extinction occurrence is by choosing the path of peace and forgiveness, that is to say by adopting and following the teachings of Jesus.
Peace be with you.
Think about it. And practice it. For therein lies our only hope, our only salvation.
May the love of God and the peace of Christ be with you this Easter.