Locked doors. We lock them out of fear. We lock doors to protect our loved ones and our possessions. We all know the dangers of unlocked doors—like the time my dad left our car unlocked. You guessed it; the car was stolen right off main street in small town USA.
So we aren’t surprised when the disciples gather behind locked doors after Jesus’ death. Their best friend has been arrested, beaten, and crucified on a cross. Gathering behind locked doors seems the wise thing to do. But… Mary had seen Jesus alive. They had seen the empty tomb. Still they were filled with fear.
Imagine the disciples’ surprise when Jesus came and stood among them. Jesus knows their fear and assures them: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus breathes on them the Holy Spirit. Now many of the disciples have seen Jesus in person. Jesus is really alive! So what do they do next? Read about it in John 20:19-31.
Locked doors. That’s where we find the disciples one week later. Behind locked doors. While I want to fault the disciples for their fickle faith, I find myself behind locked doors too. Even though I know that death is not the last word… Even though I know God can bring new life… I still find my heart locked. Can hope really come from this difficult transition? Like the disciples I don’t race out to tell others the Good News. Instead I want to stay where I am comfortable. But maybe God needs me to get involved in a new way.
The locked doors don’t keep Jesus out. Jesus comes to the disciples again. He shows them the wounds in his hands and side. He invites them yet again to believe. Locked doors can’t keep Jesus out of our lives either! Again and again Jesus comes to us. We enter Jesus’ presence as we worship. We touch his body and blood in communion. We listen to Jesus in prayer. We experience Jesus through family, friends, and strangers. Then we are sent out to serve. Blessed are those who have not seen, but yet believe.
This Easter season… Unlock the doors. Swing them wide open! Take a risk. Tell what God has done for you. Make a new friend. Go on the mission trip to Chicago. Sign up to serve in a new way at church. Do random acts of kindness to share the Easter joy. The world needs YOU! So unlock the doors. Alleluia! Jesus is risen! Jesus is risen indeed!