EASTER April 2020…He gave Himself for me!

“Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

“Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” John 20:19, 20

That was a weary and heavy-laden band gathered on the evening of the first great Easter. These disciples were like the sea driven by the wind and tossed. Hope alternately rose and fell. Tidings reached those who had partially revived their spirits, but such were conflicting and unauthenticated. “How different,” would they not say one to another, “our present experiences, from the memories of three past years of tranquil peace and unbroken love, when we sat at His feet listening to His elevating teachings, or beheld the halt and the lame and the blind cured by healing word or touch; or when, on the stormy deep, we listened to His ‘Peace, be still;’ or when we mingled with the crowd in which many a heart, aching with deeper-seated than bodily disease, was hushed by the assuring invitation, ‘Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.’

Peace is the yearned-for boon of every weary soul. Christ alone can meet and answer.

How He answers it may best be gathered from the sequence which forms the remarkable feature in the words of our present verse and narrative. There was no interval for questioning thought–the words of the recording evangelist are at once added–“And when He had so said, He showed them His hands and His side.” It was the revelation of a crucified Savior. It was, in His own Person, the truth that was to be afterwards sounded forth, first by accredited apostles, and which, through the succeeding ages, was to form the central doctrine of Christianity and Christian teaching–“Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

There is a second sequence, a second act in this divine Easter drama. The affrighted disciples, who, we are told in the context, “were assembled for fear,” and had in their terror locked or barred the chamber door, were reassured. At the vision of this crucified One, with the spear-thrust and nail-marks, “the death of the cross,” their terror was exchanged for gladness. “THEN were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.”

Gracious Hospice! “He loved me, and gave Himself for me”–Christ, not the Example and Pattern (though that, as we know, He was conspicuously also), but “Christ crucified, the Power of God unto salvation to every one that believes.”

Show me, Lord, by faith, Your wounded hands, Your riven side! The peace secured and bestowed in this Hospice is “peace through the blood of the cross.”

“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is the place of repose.” Isaiah 28:12