John 20: 19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week, when 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!” After he said this, 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. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
With the doors locked for fear of the Jews who has just killed Jesus, Jesus appears before his disciples. First Jesus gives them his message of peace–not to fear. Jesus shows them his hands where he had been nailed to the cross and his pierced side so they would know he was Jesus. Then, Jesus speaks peace again to calm their fears as he tells him in the same way the Father had sent him, Jesus now sends them to give the “good news” that will save them from their sins. Lastly, Jesus breathes on them and they receive the power of the Holy Spirit that will enable them to give his message of forgiveness to others. We also receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be a witness of the same forgiveness that Jesus has provided for us to give his forgiveness to others.
Father thank you that we have received your forgiveness through Jesus Christ along with your Holy Spirit that we are to be your witness of this same forgiveness for others to receive. Awaken us with your peace to accept your call to be your witness. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.