Shadows and Peace

Went for a walk in the evening and as I turned for home, a long shadow was cast on the sidewalk ahead of me. The shadow walked on ahead of me.

An eclipse of the moon or the sun is essentially a shadow. It creates dynamic colors and is intriguing to people. A couple years ago people drove all over the U.S. to see the total eclipse of the sun.

Whenever a projector was used in school, someone would inevitably put up the “bunny shadow” which was basically the peace sign that casts a shadow that looks like a bunny.

I was reading John 20, the Resurrection story. It starts with Mary Magdalene discovering the stone had been removed from the entrance of the tomb and while strips of linen remain, Jesus is gone. She brought in some of the disciples to check out the scene. Afterwards, Jesus appears and comforts her, but tells her to go and explain to the disciples that he has risen.

Later, the disciples were huddled behind locked doors, for fear of the Jewish leaders, and Jesus appears to them.  He says something twice to them. He says the same thing later to Thomas, who isn’t so sure that Jesus has ascended.

Jesus doesn’t say, “Hey, what’s up.”  Jesus doesn’t say, “Told you so.”  What he does say, three times is, “Peace be with you!”

The Easter story is one that casts a long shadow. A story that has and continues to walk ahead of us. The story of Jesus is dynamic and intriguing and the resurrection is actually what defines our Christian belief. But what I’ve taken away this year, more than anything, is what Jesus wants for us is peace. It’s something we need to hear right now, simply peace. Because we have a hard time listening, Jesus repeats it three times, “Peace be with you!”  “Peace be with you!”  “Peace be with you!”

And Easter has nothing to do with bunnies, real or shadowed.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples – John 20: 19-29 NIV

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Jesus and Thomas

24Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

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