19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Thoughts: Twice Jesus Invokes them to have peace in this short passage. Jesus wasn't just saying "calm down" though they were probably pretty excitable about this one coming back from the dead. Sunday evening they were huddled together in fear. When He showed them his hands and his side- it was like showing them his driver's license- his identity was confirmed, and that brought then not only peace, but joy. The second command to have peace for the task that was before them- being sent into the world as ambassadors of the gospel. The resurrected Jesus brings peace from worry and fear and peace for the calling we are given to fulfill. If Christ were dead- the doors would remain locked. If Christ did not say "Go into all the world... for Lo I am with you always" we would stay put instead of go out. The resurrection assures us and also gives us courage to go out in His name.
Prayer: May the peace of your resurrection ease my fears and strengthen me to speak for you.
John Calvin Abridged: The greeting of peace was a common Hebrew greeting. It is a wish for all cheerfulness and prosperity of a happy life. It would be similar to saying, "May you live well and prosper." The second greeing of peace was to get their attention so that they would listen to his command to send them.