Wednesday 19th April 2017 - Daily Reading:
Luke 24:36-49 - It's All Love and Grace By Karen Cowing

While Cleopas was explaining how they had seen Jesus and how he had told them of all the prophecies that spoke of how the Messiah had to go through all these things and then be raised from the dead, Jesus appeared.

The doors were locked, there was no knock at the door, yet Jesus just stood among them and said: 'Peace be with you'. Even after hearing that angels had said Jesus was alive; how Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene; how he'd walked with two disciples along the road; and how Peter and John had seen an empty tomb, they thought he was a ghost!

They still couldn't believe it even though they could see him stood right in front of them. Jesus then had to show how he was flesh and bone, yet how he still had the scars of the nails in his hands, and he still had the gash in his side. They were overjoyed and so pleased yet still didn't quite 'get it'. He wanted to prove to them even more and so asked for some food. Ghosts don't sit and eat leftovers!

Jesus then 'opens their minds'. In John it says he breathed on them. Jesus gave them a revelation, a spiritual view of how all the scriptures, the Law and the Prophets spoke of him. He then gives them instructions to go and tell all people, starting with Jerusalem.

However there was one disciple not present in the room. We are not told why but just that he wasn't there and that when he joined them and Jesus had gone, he didn't believe them. He wanted to see for himself. Jesus was gracious, and he appeared again in the locked room and spoke just to Thomas. Jesus asked Thomas to touch his wounds. Thomas responded: 'My lord and my God!'

Jesus replied: ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

I love how through all his dealings with his disciples Jesus does not just give up, he shows them grace and love continually. He loves Peter when he denied him; he loves the group of them when they don't listen to the women that saw the empty tomb, and now Thomas, who refused to believe unless he touched Jesus' wounds. Jesus does this with us. He loves us. It was love that held him up on the cross, it was love that causes him to show grace even when we mess up time and time again. What an awesome God we have!

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