Sermon Outline On John 20:19-22
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
The room is small, a quiet place, upstairs, out of the way. The disciples have all gathered. They suspect something. They are afraid because of what Jesus has said and done. They are hoping that there will be safety in numbers.
And then… through the locked door comes a stranger. Who is this man? He shows them his hands and side and there can be no doubt. It is Jesus with the marks of the crucifixion that killed him. The marks of the nails that pinned him to the cross. The scare from the spear that pierced his side. The double dead Jesus was standing in their midst.
Why has Jesus come? Why has he made this appearance? I believe he came to inform, to inspire, and to instruct. “Who was the first to see the resurrection?” Was it the guards, Mary Magdalene, Peter, or John? Was it someone else? “Who first saw the resurrected Christ?” That is a totally different question. Who was the first the see the resurrection? No one. Scripture does not say that anyone witnessed Jesus coming out of that tomb. No one saw the resurrection, but we all believe that it happened!
Jesus came to the eleven in that room to inform them of the truth of resurrection. Jesus appeared to Mary to confirm his resurrection. Jesus appeared to two on the road to Emmaus to confirm resurrection. Jesus appeared to 500 to confirm his resurrection. Jesus came into that room to inform.
Jesus greeted them with the words, “Peace be with you.” Jesus says “Peace be with you” 3 times. Some would say this was a common greeting for that day. Jesus was simply sharing a common greeting. I believe those words were more than a common greeting. Those words were a promise — a promised gift. According to John the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit during this visit by Jesus. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians tells us that a of the fruit of the Spirit is PEACE. When the Holy Spirit indwells us, we have peace. The Holy Spirit was coming to the disciples and with the Spirit comes Peace. Peace be with you was more than a greeting it was a promise… Jesus came to inform them of that promise of peace.
Life is difficult. Life sometimes seems unbearable. Life can be the pits. BUT in the midst of life’s drama there can be peace…Jesus came to inform us of the peace that can be ours.
No one saw the resurrection of Jesus. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, saw the resurrected Jesus, but they did not see him at the moment of resurrection. They believed, and disciples who on the day of resurrection were fearful and hiding were inspired to share the gospel message right up to their own martyrdom. Those who hid for fear of death, were inspired by the resurrected Christ and like Jesus suffered death for the mission to which Jesus called them.
A young sentry was on guard duty for the first time. His orders were not to admit any car unless it had a special identification seal. The first unmarked car the sentry encountered contained a general, who became frustrated with the young sentry and told the driver to go on through. The sentry politely replied, “Excuse me, sir, but I’m new at this. Who do I shoot first, you or the driver?”(1) Just as this sentry was obedient to his superior, the disciples were obedient to Jesus’ command.
You see, Jesus also came that day to instruct. He told the disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Oswald Chambers once said, “A missionary is someone sent by Jesus Christ just as He was sent by God. The great controlling factor is not the needs of the people, but the command of Jesus…The goal is to be true to Him-to carry out His plan.”(2) The first missionaries were the followers of Jesus. Today, each of us is a missionary. We are each sent by Jesus just as the Heavenly Father sent Jesus.
But Jesus didn’t stop with informing, inspiring, and instructing. Jesus also empowered the disciples to do that for which they would be sent. Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
God breathed life into Adam and Eve. God breathed new life into the dry bones of Ezekiel’s vision. God through the risen Christ breathed new life into the disciples. They were given the Holy Spirit.
When we become Christians, God breaths new life into us. We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is available to us. That is why Paul can boast, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Chambers observed, “When looking back on the lives of men and women of God, the tendency is to say, “What wonderfully keen and intelligent wisdom they had, and how perfectly they understood all that God wanted!” But the keen and intelligent mind behind them was the mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God…”(3)
When people look at our lives, will they know that Jesus has sent us? Will they know that Jesus has breathed into us the Holy Spirit? Will they know, even though they didn’t see it, that Jesus rose from the dead?
1. Original source unknown.
2. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Oct. 26.
3. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Oct. 26.