I remember last Easter when everyone was under the lockdown due to the pandemic. As a pastor I went to the church with our worship team and did a livestream service since we were not having in house services. Our Easter lockdown was disappointing as I looked out over an empty church. Another Easter is approaching and we are beginning to come out of the pandemic.
Last year, however, was not the first Easter lockdown. On the day of the Resurrection of our Lord the disciples were locked in a room. They were afraid of the Jews who had their Lord crucified and perhaps were coming for them next. As the doors were shut securely Jesus just appeared in their midst. The words that He spoke to them in that locked room not only gave them assurance but also gave them boldness to break free from their fearful lockdown.
Jesus assured them of His presence. He told them: “it is I myself” (Luke 24:39). He was with them. They did not have to cave in to their fears because Jesus was with them. You and I do not have to be fearful of the things that are outside of our locked rooms. He is with us just as He was with those first disciples. Jesus also instructed them of His plan. He showed from the scriptures how His death and resurrection were all a part of God’s ultimate purpose. It was no accident, but it was a necessary part of God’s plan for the salvation of the world.
We must remember that our God works through terrible things, even like a pandemic, to bring about glory to Himself. Jesus also commissioned them with carrying His gospel to the world. They could not stay in lockdown, they had a job to do. The last encouraging words Jesus gave to His lockdown disciples was the promise of the Holy Spirit. Very soon they would have the power of the Spirit that would always be in them as a never-ending source of power to face any foe and accomplish any task.
We too are assured of His presence. We are instructed of His plan. We are filled with His power. And we must remember that we have a job to get done. Are you in a self-imposed lockdown of fear? Let the words of Jesus break you free.
Pastor Jim Stultz is with Peace River Baptist Church. To submit a Sermon of the Week, email email@example.com.