The Panic Room

In the upper room (John 13-17) Jesus showed His disciples “the full extent of His love,” even though it was incomprehensible to them at the time.  They could not understand what He told them about “going to another place and they were not able to come.”  Jesus declared that He would send another (of the same kind as Himself) who would be to them a Comforter, Teacher, and Counselor.  This One, the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth and bring all things that Christ taught them to their memory.  What immediately followed seemed more of debacle or denial by the disciples as we see them at Gethsemane, the trials of Jesus, and at the crucifixion.  Their champion was deceased and their hopes were destroyed.

Jesus had told the disciples that in three days he would see them in Galilee.  They passively dismissed this due to distraction.  Women were the first witnesses of the resurrected Savior.  This was followed by the account of the two on the road to Emmaus.  Each of these reported to the disciples that they had seen the risen Christ, but the disciples dismissed the account of these witnesses as being nonsense and babble, all gathered in what we will call a panic room for fear of the Jews.

While they were huddled in trepidation and frustration, Jesus suddenly surprises them by His presence among them.  According to Matthew 28:8-10, 16-20; Mark 16:14-15; Luke 24:36-49; and John 20:19-29, the following took place:

  • He greeted them with a salutation of “peace” which could be theirs because of His presence, and according to His promise given to them prior to His crucifixion.
  • He rebuked their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe what the witnesses told them, and for having doubts and fears in their minds.
  • He reminded them that Scripture must be fulfilled in that first he would suffer, and then He would rise from the dead.
  • He proved to them, as they were startled and frightened, that He was not an apparition. He encouraged them to touch and see that He was flesh and blood.  He even eased the tension by asking for something to eat.
  • He opened their minds to a greater comprehension of the Scripture. As a result of seeming too good to be true, their hesitancy to believe was then based on joy and amazement.
  • He commissioned them to proclaim the good news of the kingdom to the nations, even to the cosmos.
  • He reinforced how this sacred task was to be accomplished. The promised Holy Spirit would dwell within them and empower them. It is of interest that Christ breathed on them as He encouraged the disciples to prepare for the coming of the Spirit.

What happens next, even before the coming of the Holy Spirit, will puzzle them even more.