Today is the final installment in a three-part series of articles that were taken from a sermon I preached at Cross Community Church exploring Jesus’ words in John 14:27-28 —
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
On Monday we met The Person OF this Peace; on Wednesday we discovered The Purpose FOR this Peace; today we seek to understand The Power IN this Peace.
I’ll be the first to admit that it will take all eternity to plumb the depths of the full meaning of the power God has given us in this peace. Our Source for this power is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. We have received it in a full measure to help us through any difficulty we face in life.
The disciples could not have faced any more difficult circumstances then when they watched the crucifixion of their Lord. The mob had howled for Christ’s death, the full power of the hated Roman invader stood against them, and the Jewish leaders were determined to eradicate every last whisper of Christ’s teachings. On that Good Friday, peace seemed as far away from them as the east is from the west. But then, three days later, Jesus suddenly appeared, alive and well, and said the most amazing thing to them:
On the evening of that first day of the week, 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!” Then he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!” As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19-22)
The very first words from our Lord Jesus Christ to the disciples after His resurrection were “Peace be with you!” Here we see the power to calm their fears and their doubts. All hope was lost when Jesus was nailed to the cross, and the terrified disciples—who had all scattered like sheep when He was arrested—were now locked in a room, cowering in fear, expecting that the same thing would happen to them. But Jesus showed them His nail-scarred hands and pierced side, proving He was who He said He was, and that He had done what He had said He would do. He connected them to the most incredible power in the universe: the power of His peace.
The peace of Christ can heal the broken heart. The peace of Christ can strengthen our feeble faith. The peace of Christ can comfort the crushed spirit. The power in this peace was given to empower the disciples to take the good news of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, regardless of the cost or circumstance. The disciples had been as low as they could go, but when the risen Savior spoke “peace” into their lives, their hearts were raised to the courts of heaven as He gave them the Holy Spirit. They were now utterly fearless, and they committed themselves to the expansion of the kingdom of Christ everywhere they went.
Do you know this truth today? What have you been doing with the power of the peace God has given to you in Christ? Are you expanding the cause of the kingdom of Christ right now, right where you are? You have the power to do it, because you have the Person who has given you the only purpose in life that truly matters. And there is no need to hide your lamp under a bowl, for He has promised never to leave you or forsake you, no matter what! And you have the peace that passes all understanding, the supernatural peace promised and delivered by the Prince of Peace.
So go forth, Christian, with Jesus’ name on your lips and His love in your heart. Tell them that a dead man got up and walked out of His grave, and that they—by grace through faith—can walk beside Him on streets of gold for all eternity!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!