April 8, 2015

Pentecost Countdown, Part 2

Peace Be With You

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John 20:19-29 records one of Yeshua's (Jesus') appearances to His disciples. It begins, "When evening came on the first day of the week and when the doors were closed and the disciples were fearful of their fellow Jews, Yeshua came and stood in their midst. He said 'Peace be with you.'" We find throughout the three years that Yeshua spent with His disciples that there were many times when they were fearful.

John records in chapter 6:15-20 about when the disciples went to cross over the sea of Galilee to Capernaum and a storm arose. Yeshua was not with them, and then suddenly they saw Him walking on the water toward them and they became frightened, and He said to them, "It is I, do not be afraid." Mark records the time when Yeshua was in the boat sleeping and a storm arose and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was filling up, ready to sink, and they cried out to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are going to perish?" And He arose and told the wind, "Be still." How often we find ourselves fearful and frightened, even thinking that we may even perish? But Yeshua sees and He knows what goes on in our everyday living, and when we are facing a storm in our lives or when we are locked up inside ourselves, He is there to bring us peace or to calm the storm.

Yeshua asks His disciples after He calmed the storm, "Why are you so afraid? Have you no faith?" That day when He appeared to His frightened disciples, He bid them peace and showed them His hands and His side. This brought them great joy and they rejoiced to see Him. Yeshua tells them again, "Peace be with you," and He commissioned them and filled them with His Holy Spirit. But Thomas was not there at the time, and when he returned, all of the other disciples were excitedly telling him that the Master had come. But Thomas would not believe until he saw the nail scars of Yeshua and placed his finger in them. Thomas doubted even his own brethren. How often do we go through life doubting God? We don't believe that He loves us or cares about us. Many people believe that if God created the world, that He did it and then abandoned the project and left us to ourselves.

Well, eight days later—for Yeshua gave Thomas enough time to think about the last three years and all he saw during those years—Yeshua came to His disciples and once again said to them, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing." We see here that Yeshua showed His disciples the first time his hands and side, and then again to Thomas. Why was this so important for Him to do this? There is only one reason: because it was the sign of His love. It was the sign that took away their fear the first time and it was the sign that caused Thomas to no longer doubt but believe. It is also the sign to us that God so loves us that he sent Yeshua, His only begotten Son, to die for us so that whomever believes in Him shall have eternal life.

God already proved His love for us. It is His guarantee, as Paul writes in Romans 8:26-39 speaking about our victory in Messiah Yeshua: "And in the same way the spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Those times when we are so beyond ourselves that we can't even pray, the Holy Spirit will cry out for us.

Verse 28: "For we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." You see, God will work things out for our good. This does not necessarily mean what we see as good, but what He knows to be good for us.

Verses 31-32: "What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give all things?" If the Father gave us Yeshua as a ransom for our sins, will He not show us love or understanding in our time of need? We must see that God the Father already proved to us that he loves us and that He is for us.

Verse 35 says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"

Verse 37-39: "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord."

The next time you are frightened or doubtful that God does not see or care, remember the nail-scarred hands and feet of Yeshua, and have faith! Let it strengthen you and give you peace knowing that our Messiah paid the price for you. He already showed His love and because of that, you CAN be victorious in your situation, for you have a Father who hears your prayers. He is concerned about you and He will not let you perish. Trust Him with all your heart and soul. Paul tell us in Philippians 4:6-7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua."

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