Reflections: April 5, 2021
Monday of Easter Week
By Alfonso Espinosa
. . . Jesus. . . said to them, 'Peace to you!" (Luke 24:36)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When the LORD Jesus says, "Peace to you!" it's not like He's saying, "I wish you well," or "I hope you feel better," or "Even though I don't know how things are going to work out, here's hoping for the best." Ah. . . no! When God proclaims peace upon you, it is created upon you; it becomes a reality upon you, so that peace for you is as empirical and objective as the iPhone you're holding right now or the thing upon which you are sitting. Think of the opening of Genesis, "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). When God speaks, what He speaks becomes. The spoken thing is now an "is" reality.
Peace IS now yours because Jesus has spoken it to you! He speaks it every time you attend Divine Service, as the pastor in Christ's Office says, "Peace be with you." That's Jesus speaking to you and casting His peace upon you. Why is this so important? Because we--according to our core sin--are like those Emmaus disciples in Luke 24. We are ". . . troubled. . . [and have] doubts [arising] in our hearts" (Luke 24:38). That's what sinners do. In fact, the old man does nothing but doubt, fret, complain, and curse. But when Jesus sees you like this--like He saw the Emmaus disciples--He has compassion upon you as He had compassion upon them. So His response is not to condemn you, but in the greatest love and mercy impart to you His peace, which means that you are right with God through the life, death, and resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ.
But how can we know this with absolute certainty? Well, if we sneak ahead a little bit to Luke 24:39 we see what Jesus did with the Emmaus disciples: He got REAL with them! He showed them His hands and His feet and told them that they could touch Him! Well, guess what? He gets REAL with you, too! You go to the Divine Service and receive Jesus' REAL Absolution through the REAL pastor; and then hear Jesus' REAL Word through Jesus' REAL preaching Office; and then--best of all--you receive the REAL Body and Blood of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament. You get to see exactly how and why the peace that Jesus gives to you is not theoretical, but absolutely the real deal. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, in the paschal feast You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa is the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, CA. He is also the author of two books: Faith That Sees Through the Culture and Faith That Engages the Culture.
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