Mary went and told the disciples that she had seen Jesus. Then as evening came, on that first day of the week, Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples. Upon entering Jesus discovered a group of men hiding, gave them a gift and then sent them out.
These men witnessed the Jewish leaders take out their leader by having Him crucified. Fear for their lives gripped them. They feared they were next. As a result they were hiding in a room with all the doors closed. If they had blinds, they were likely pulled down or if any shutters, they would have been closed as well. However, something changed. Jesus comes and stands among them. He unfolds His hands to show the nail prints and then shows His side, pierced by the soldier’s spear. Imagine the joy!
Upon His entrance and again as He stood among them, Jesus didn’t say, “Fear not,” but rather “Peace to you.” He had a job for them to do. They needed His peace but more than that they needed the life of Jesus within them. Jesus said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” He had yet to pour out His Spirit, but here He gives the gift to His disciples. It empowers them for the work He has for them to do.
Jesus sent this group of fearful men out in the power of the Holy Spirit. He told them, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” What a powerful message to a group who must have been angry about what had happened to Jesus. Even to live out these words, they must depend on the life of the Spirit within them. Upon entering Jesus discovered a group of men hiding, gave them a gift and then sent them out.