A couple of you have told me that you are following the posts on the Beatitudes. Thank You! Well, the series has been somewhat disjoined. Blessed are the meek seemed such an appropriate fit for Palm Sunday. And, this Sunday, Blessed are the peacemakers really connects with Jesus' resurrection appearance in the locked room.
Some claim that of all the resurrection appearances the story of the disciples together in a locked room expresses the impact of Easter more than any other. Here is a group for whom the worst has happened and there is no way forward. Death has happened. It was all so unfair. The travesty of the trial, the horrific cross, the finality of the tomb. The enemies of Jesus had triumphed. In that room is deep personal failure. Failure of courage, one a denier, all deserters. Utterly miserable they are bound by grief, guilt and fear. How they have let Jesus down! They have nothing now but the dread of a knock on the door as the enemies come for them. Poignantly, they have heard strange talk from women who had been at the tomb earlier that day. But their tale sounded absurd. So they huddle in fear. They have been with the best person you could imagine, who said the best words and did the best things and now he has gone for ever and they let him down.
We cannot register the shock when Jesus comes and stands before them. We are to understand that he didn't knock on the door. Suddenly he is there. And when he speaks it's as though they have never let him down. He gives the customary greeting: Peace be with you. Not one word of judgement, rebuke, disappointment. He shows them his hands and side. It really is him. Not a collective delusion! Jesus of the cross is alive - with them. There's a massive understatement - And the disciples were overjoyed with they saw the Lord. They are ecstatic, delirious with joy. He is with them and he is saying PEACE which spells out a togetherness with love that is so powerful and active it brings everything that is broken into the deepest harmony possible. From the worst to the best feeling in the world. If they had known the words and tune they could sing with Louis Armstrong: I see skies of blue, and clouds of white, the bright blessed day , the dark sacred night, and I think to myself: What a wonderful world!.