April 14, 2020
Later that evening, as we were in the Upper Room, Jesus Himself suddenly came right through the locked doors. He upbraided the other apostles for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed the women whom had seen Him after He had risen.
Then He said, “Peace be with you.” We were startled and frightened, and supposed that we saw a ghost.
But He said to us, “Why are you afraid and troubled? Why do questions cross your mind? Look at my hands and my feet. It is really I. Touch me and see for yourselves. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones as I do.”
He stood among us in glory dressed in a white robe that emanated light. The light shined through Him like the sunlight through a crystal. His red crucifixion wounds in His hands and feet were still showing and contrasted with His white robe. I was ecstatic to see Him but I winced at His wounds.
Once again, He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When He had said this, He breathed on us and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. If you don’t and hold them bound, they are held bound.” I was in awe that He gave us His own power to forgive sins. As He had forgiven sins, so now we were called to do so, acting in His name.
I remembered His last discourse with us after our Last Supper when He also granted us peace and said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ ” And now He had come back, just as He promised.
Then He asked us, “Do you have anything to eat?” So, we gave Him a piece of cooked fish which He took and ate.
He said, “Remember all the words that I spoke to you when I was still with you. Everything written about me in the Scriptures had to be fulfilled.” Then He opened our minds to the understanding of the Scriptures, just as He had done for the disciples from Emmaus.
He said, “The Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. In His name, penance for the remission of sins is to be preached to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of this. I will send down upon you the promise of my Father. Stay here in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Now I understood how wrong we were to expect a warrior Messiah King who would be victorious over our Roman oppressors. He is so much more! He is victorious over all nations and sin and death, our true greatest enemies. He absorbed all of the sin and injustice of his persecutors and crucifiers and died, but He resurrected as the eternal King of All Nations.
Then He disappeared as we all wondered what He meant about the “promise of my Father.” Nevertheless, we obeyed and continued to stay in the Upper Room.
We found out later that the tomb guards went into the city and told the Chief Priests all that had taken place. Then they assembled with the elders and decided to give a bribe of money to the guards. They told the guards to tell the people that His disciples came during the night and stole Him away while they were asleep. They assured the guards that when Pilate learned about this, they would keep them out of trouble. So, the guards took the money and did as they were told.
Then this false story spread among the Jews that His disciples stole Jesus’ body from the tomb. However, if someone had taken the body away, they would have taken the burial cloths or left them in disarray. But they were left behind without any disturbance, and I was an eyewitness to this.
Thomas remained in his unbelief. He wasn’t with us when Jesus came through the doors. So, when he arrived later at the Upper Room, we told him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.” He had his chance one week later.
For the whole story read my book, The Gospel of Love.
“When I read my Foreword aloud to my 91-year-old mother, she said, ‘I want to read that book just from listening to what you said about it.’ Bravo Dan!”