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26th April 2023


Encounters with the Risen Christ

An encounter with the risen Christ is a life changing experience.
After an encounter with Christ & His resurrection power life cannot remain the same
They shape & mould us in a way that experiences & encouragements can’t.
To this day the risen Christ continues to meet with & change forever the lives of His people.
Mary was the first witness of the resurrection & today we are all witnesses for the risen Lord.
Later that same day following the appearance to Mary Jesus met with the disciples in an upper room.
What happened through that encounter will be our focus for today.


Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week,
when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side.
Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:19-23


Through this encounter Jesus gave peace to His people & released the Holy Spirit to them.
The Prince of peace appeared out of nowhere to release peace to the disciples.
Jesus effortlessly stepped from heaven to earth & right into their midst.
The release of peace replaced the fear & caution they were experiencing.
Joy & gladness began to well up releasing them from the despair & pain of grief.
Jesus, who is peace, gives a peace the world cannot give (John 16:33; Philippians 4:7).
Jesus is also the joy giver. In His presence is fulness of joy (John 15:11, 16:22&24, 17:13).
He did this when he walked this earth & He continues to do it to this day.

Jesus appeared in a glorious, resurrected body that bore the physical scars & wounds of the crucifixion.
There was no doubting it was really Him. Flesh & blood yet able to appear & vanish at will!!
Jesus spoke peace to His people & He also breathed on them to release the Holy Spirit to them.
The risen Christ releases the Holy Spirit, & resurrection power & life, to His people.
He then sent them forth in the power of the Spirit to be His worshippers & witnesses.
A people living in a constant stream & flow of receiving & releasing forgiveness.
Jesus sends us forth to in the power of the Spirit as worshippers & witnesses too.
Armed with the life-giving power & freedom of His forgiving love.

Encounters with the risen Lord Jesus Christ result in lasting joy & deep peace.
A joy that cannot be crushed through circumstances & a peace that cannot be disturbed or stolen away.
Jesus brought a fresh start to those disciples in that upper room through a cleansing & commissioning.
We too share that cleansing & commissioning in the power of the Spirit. So good!!
Through that unforgettable encounter the disciples’ lives were transformed from fear to faith & ours are too.
Freely we have received & freely are we to give. The risen Christ sends you & He sends me.
Bearers & bringers of joy, peace & forgiving love, through encounter with the risen Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We need the Spirit as we are sent so receive afresh the breath of God that empowers you. Hallelujah!!
Jesus, breath of God, breathe on me – Glory to God.

For Reflection

  • In what ways am I receiving & releasing the forgiving love & grace of the Lord?
  • How, & when, have I had life changing encounters with the risen Christ?
  • Meditate upon the deep joy & lasting peace that the risen Christ gives His people.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending Your Son to conquer sin & death,
And resurrecting Him so that I could know forgiveness & resurrection power in my life.
Jesus thank you that You give a deep joy & lasting peace,
Breath on me Your Holy Spirit & send me forth as Your worshipper & witness.
Holy Spirit keep me in the flow of the Father’s forgiving love,
Freely receiving & freely giving, being blessed & being a blessing.
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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