When Jesus Appears to the Disciples: A Lesson on Peace and Shame

In today’s episode, we focus on Luke 24: 36-43 and discover that when Jesus appears to the disciples in the Upper Room, it’s about more than simply convincing them that he had risen from the dead. Jesus did then what he wants to do with us now: he broke through the walls of their hearts, calling them to face their weakness and meeting that weakness with his peace.

Snippet from the Show:

Jesus wants to break through the walls of our self-justification, calling us to recognize the ways we’ve failed him. But in doing this, he also breaks through the walls of shame, guilt, and sorrow we experience over our failures, offering us his peace. 

What were the disciples experiencing in the days following the Crucifixion?

The disciples were hiding, afraid to meet the same fate as Jesus. Their hearts were sorrowful over the death of their leader and friend. But most of all, they were probably filled with shame and regret for their actions leading up to the Crucifixion. 

Imagine being one of them:

Just a few days ago, your master bent and washed your feet…

He then asked you to stay awake and pray with him, and instead you fell asleep…

Guards came, arrested him, and took him away. Instead of defending him, you ran away…

He was brutalized, humiliated, shamed, and condemned, and you denied him…

He willingly accepted the most horrific death imaginable for your sake, and you abandoned him in order to hide…

The shame and guilt would probably have been crushing. 

Suddenly, in the midst of that sorrow, guilt, and shame, Jesus appears to the apostles. 

As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. 

Luke 24: 36-43

Notice, this wasn’t initially a joyful experience for the disciples … they were terrified and startled!  

Why does Jesus show the disciples his wounds? 

By showing his wounds to the disciples, Jesus gently reminds them of what he underwent on the Cross…and that the disciples abandoned him in his suffering. 

But what are Jesus’ first words to them? 

“Peace be with you.”

This is not an insignificant greeting! Biblical peace, or shalom, means right relationship, covenant closeness, friendship. 

Jesus does two things by breaking through the walls of the upper room and showing his disciples his wounds:

  1. Jesus confronts their weakness, reminding them of his unwavering love and their wavering love.
  2. Jesus extends mercy and peace to them in their shame, breaking through the walls of their hearts and inviting them back into right relationship with him.   

Jesus wants to do the same thing in our hearts. 

When he shows us his wounds, Jesus breaks through the walls of our self-justification and rationalization, calling us to recognize the ways we’ve failed him. But in doing this, he also breaks through the walls of shame, guilt, and sorrow we experience over our failures, offering us his peace. 

How do we receive his peace?

  1. We must admit our wrongdoing and our weakness to Christ. 
  2. We must turn our gaze away from ourselves and our sin and towards Christ. 


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