Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you!"
He Himself stood among them. He said to them,"Peace to you!"
(John 20:19,21; Luke 24:36, HCSB)
The notes in the study Bible I'm using this year pointed out that the greeting Jesus used in these resurrection appearances to His disciples was probably the same greeting Jews use today: Shalom alekem. This intrigued me, since shalom carries a slightly different weight of meaning than our English "peace."
According to The Nelson Study Bible notes, shalom "conveys the idea of completeness and well-being--of being a perfect whole" (p.682). Wholeness, well-being, completeness... so much more than just absence of conflict and distress (although the semantic range includes those elements, as well)...
Seven hundred years before the nativity of Christ, the prophet Isaiah predicted that Messiah would bring his people this shalom:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5, NIV1984).On the night Jesus was betrayed, He promised His followers peace:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27, NIV1984).When He had been crucified and resurrected, He appeared to His frightened, demoralized disciples, and He spoke peace to them. Shalom.
Paul the converted rabbi extends this peace to all who have trusted in Jesus as their sin-bearer:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand (Romans 5:1-2a, NIV1984).Peace. Shalom. Wholeness, healing, reconciliation with God through the blood of the Lamb. Such a simple greeting, isn't it? "Peace to you." Yet how much power in that brief prayer. Dear Crumbles, this is my prayer for you on this grey November Monday. Peace to you. The peace of Christ to you. Shalom, friends.
I'm still counting with the community at Ann's, numbering the ways God says He loves me:
~peace in Christ
~finishing this year's reading of the Gospels... not wanting it to end
~Jewish evangelism focus for DTS missions week messages and our Sunday sermon
~Isaiah 53 fulfilled in Yeshua our Messiah
~this Irish-Italian Texan being grafted into Israel's tree
~the beauty of faithful suffering
~Christian witness on the local evening news
~finding surprises to brighten someone's tough week
~receiving a surprise myself, a gift of Indian ghee candy from one of Allen's co-workers I've never even met
~praying for friends and readers
~Disqus comment conversations
~affirming text message and comment just checking to see how I was doing and blessing me
~seeing my sister sing professionally
~the glorious music of Bach
~double date with my parents
~trying to cheer him up, even when it doesn't work
|Butterfly photos by A. Moore
~the mallard fathers, so sober in their clerical collars, gathered for morning prayer with their tweed-clad wives
~Gandalf the Grey
~Galadriel (great white heron) in flight
~new birds in the neighborhood
~trees with henna highlights
~honeycrisp apples in season
(#2094-2118 on the gratitude list)