No one gets excited to be an ambassador of lies.
If you have ever been asked to lie for someone, it’s uncomfortable. Sure you may have been duped at some point and spread a lie you didn’t realize was a lie. But it’s a rare and odd thing that someone would knowingly and willingly take what they know to be false and send others to spread the news.
When Jesus appeared to his disciples the evening of that first Easter, he didn’t have to “tell them the story” of what had happened and what he wanted them to tell others. They knew the facts. And he gives them the message…both rooted in the reality of his resurrection.
Here’s what happened in John 20:19-23
John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, 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 his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus showed the disciples his hands and side. The disciples knew what they were looking at and who they were looking at…the LORD! They didn’t ask if he was alive. They didn’t ask what happened. They didn’t ask what the story was. They knew. They knew it was Jesus because the SAW him nailed to the cross and pierced in his side. They knew he was dead and now without a doubt they KNEW he was alive.
The movement of Jesus would never have gained momentum if it was based on a fabricated story of a Roman crucifixion and miraculous resurrection. Jesus didn’t have to tell the disciples the story, they experienced it. So all he had to do was send them to be the messengers.
The interesting thing is that the message wasn’t to tell the world Jesus rose from the dead, but to forgive sins. What gave them authority to forgive sins was the fact Jesus was the Son of God, proven by his resurrection from the dead.
OK, maybe I’m using a bit of circular logic, but here’s why the purpose Jesus gives the disciples adds certainty to what happened. Jesus sent his disciples to proclaim forgiveness because the work that was needed to be done to be certain of forgiveness was completed in the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. If Jesus wasn’t alive, there would be no forgiveness and no purpose. The disciples would have dissipated and the history of Jesus would be a fading blip on the Jewish scene.
But forgiveness continues to be preached to the ends of the earth. Why? Because it’s a) needed and b) based on the historical fact of Jesus resurrection from the dead.
Being a sales person for a product that didn’t work or didn’t exist would soon fade. But if given a product that was real and really worked, sales take care of themselves. All you have to do is share what it is and you’re experience with it.
That’s all Jesus is inviting us to do. Share who he is and your experience with him.
Apply: Does sharing your faith become easier knowing Jesus sent you and his message is based on the facts of his resurrection?
Prayer: Lord Jesus thank you for being who you said you were and doing what you said you would do. As the Father sent you, send us with the truth of your resurrection and the power of your forgiveness. AMEN.