John 20: 19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
In essence Jesus was saying it’s up to you now. It was unexpected. For three years they followed the Lord. They still felt Jesus would stay here and establish his kingdom on earth. It would have been wonderful. But God’s scope is different from ours. The Lord came to save all. Flesh and blood won’t inherit the kingdom of God. There has to be a fixing day. Salvation changes the soul making it born again. If you’re saved, you’ve experienced the new birth. You’re a new creature in Christ. Not only are we saved from hell but we’re readied for heaven. The time will come for a change in the body. He has bigger, better things in mind. He has provided something better. Through him we’ll get to the Father. Jesus prepared us for that.
That first Easter was drawing to a close. They were shut up in a room because of fear. They still saw things from a nearsighted perspective. Only Peter and John had gone to the empty tomb. Now Jesus came to them all. He appeared in the room. He’s in the midst. He’ll never let us down. He’ll be there when we need him. He said peace be unto you. That’s what he said to the wind. The angels told them fear not. As Easter draws to a close one more year everything is still all right. Jesus showed them his scars and they were glad to see the Lord. Those scars speak of the awfulness of Calvary, but they are proof of Jesus. It means we can make it.
Jesus told them that before his death he was the one teaching them and the multitudes. The disciples followed him. Jesus was preparing them. This is why we come to church. It’s why we pray. We strive to do God’s will. Jesus was going away to the Father. He had been sent by God and now we see he sent them and sends us. We can leave Easter and be a witness to any we encounter day to day. You’re never on your own. Nothing can stop the child of God. A bullet might stop this body, but it can’t stop us.
Remember verse 23 in its context. Jesus is not saying we have power to forgive sins like he does. It is his power that saves. We have power to witness. He called us to tell people not save them. When we witness, the decision is put in someone else’s lap. Whoever you choose to witness to you give them opportunity to be saved. If we choose not to witness, then we’re cutting someone out. How can they hear if someone doesn’t tell them? It’s up to you and me. Jesus chose the foolishness of proclaiming the gospel as the means of witnessing. If we’re ashamed of him, he’ll be ashamed of us. Your greatest blessing will be when you witness. Whey they do is their own decision. I’ve been afraid at times but the Lord was with me.
There is someone in your pathway that needs to be saved. It’s up to you. Jesus’ job is to save; ours is to witness. Then the choice of what to do is the person’s who hears it. I feel a fresh commission. There is no excuse. The Lord has supplied all we need. It’s up to you now.