Peace be with you
Jesus continued to appear to His disciples after His resurrection – “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’” (John 20: 19-23) The disciples, including all those who believed as well as those who would later believe would be ‘sent.’ They would be sent out with the ‘good news,’ or the ‘gospel.’ The price of salvation had been paid, the eternal way to God had been made possible by what Jesus had done. When someone hears this message of forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ sacrifice, each person is faced with what they will do with this truth. Will they accept it and recognize that their sins have been forgiven through Jesus’ death, or will they reject it and remain under the eternal judgement of God? This eternal key of the simple gospel and whether someone accepts it or rejects it determines a person’s eternal destiny.
Jesus had told the disciples before His death – “’Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’” (John 14: 27) C. I. Scofield comments in his study bible about four types of peace – “Peace with God” (Romans 5: 1); this peace is the work of Christ into which the individual enters by faith (Eph. 2: 14-17; Rom. 5: 1). “Peace from God” (Rom. 1: 7; 1 Cor. 1: 3), which is to be found in the salutation of all the epistles bearing Paul’s name, and which emphasizes the source of all true peace. “Peace of God” (Phil. 4: 7), inward peace, the state of the soul of the Christian who, having entered into peace with God, has committed all his anxieties to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving (Luke 7: 50; Phil. 4: 6-7); this phrase emphasizes the quality or the nature of the peace granted. And peace on earth (Ps. 72: 7; 85: 10; Is. 9: 6-7; 11: 1-12), universal peace on the earth during the millennium. (Scofield 1319)
Paul taught the believers at Ephesus – “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” (Ephesians 2: 14-18) Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way of salvation for both Jews and Gentiles.
No doubt, we live in a day when there is not peace on earth. Nevertheless, you and I can have peace with God when we accept what Jesus has done for us. The price of our eternal redemption has been paid. If we surrender ourselves to God in faith, trusting in what He has done for us, we can know that ‘peace that passeth all understanding,’ because we can know God. We can carry all our troubles and worries to Him, and allow Him to be our peace.
Scofield, C.I. The Scofield Study Bible, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.