There has probably never been an Easter when so many people could readily identify with the experience of Jesus’s disciples when they gathered “behind locked doors” in the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion. It was a self-imposed lockdown as fear and alarm filled their hearts and minds. All of a sudden, their world had been turned upside down. Their Master had been brutally put to death and for all they knew they might be next.
Today once again the world has been turned upside down, this time by a deadly virus spreading rapidly across the world. No wonder fear and alarm fill many hearts and minds. No wonder that many find themselves behind locked doors, whether through a Government-imposed lockdown or by their own decision to guard life and health.
The moment that made all the difference to the disciples behind their locked doors was when the risen Jesus appeared and said: “Peace be with you.” Peace must have been the last thing they were expecting at this juncture but, of course, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead changed everything.
As we in our time are met with the devastating spread of the coronavirus we would not be human if we did not experience fear, alarm and panic. Yet for us also Jesus has risen from the dead. To us also he speaks the word: “Peace be with you.” May the peace, joy and hope of the risen Christ be ours as he meets us in our lockdown with all the promise of Easter morning.