Friends, in today’s Gospel, on the evening after his Resurrection, the Lord appeared to his disciples and greeted them, saying “Peace be with you.”
According to the Gospel accounts, the risen Jesus typically did two things: he showed his wounds and he pronounced a word of peace. The wounds of Jesus are a continual and salutary reminder of our sin. The author of life appeared in our midst and we killed him, and this gives the lie to any attempt at self-justification or exculpation.
But the risen Lord never leaves us in guilt; instead, he speaks the word “Shalom,” peace. This is the peace that the world cannot give, for it is the Shalom that comes from the heart of God.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul said, “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” How does Paul know this? He knows it because we killed God, and God returned in forgiving love. He knows it because the enemies of Israel have been defeated.