These statements were spoken before His death and resurrection. Then I remembered these words spoken at one of His appearances to the disciples after His triumphant resurrection.
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!"I have learned that it is important to watch for "book-end statements." Places where Jesus says something, something happens, and then He says it again. The statements bookend the events and are important teachings connected to the events. Here these teachings about peace bookend Jesus' arrest, unjust trial, flogging, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus lived through these horrific events with peace. Now He offers peace to His followers and all followers who come after these. In John chapter 20 these words of peace bookend something else as well. Jesus shows the disciples the scars He has received in carrying out the will of His Father, God. Then, He calls His disciples, and all disciples who will follow after Him, to a mission. "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
- John 20:19-21 (NIV).
From this we can learn the way to peace! In this world we will have trouble. Storms may rage around us. But the way to peace is doing the will of the Father. As we are sent into this world, to do the things that Jesus was sent to do, we will have peace. How can we not have peace? If we are doing what God wants us to do, then all hell may oppose us but we will be at peace.
This Christmas, I pray that you will find peace as you do the will of Him who has sent you into this world. As Jesus was sent so we are sent to do the will of the Father. This is true peace.