The Dominus vobiscum, which is Latin for “The Lord be with you,” is an ancient Christian salutation. It has been part of many worship services as a pronouncement of blessing, and the phrase comes from the Latin translation of several Scripture passages, including Numbers 14:42, Ruth 2:4, and 2 Chronicles 15:2.
When the resurrected Savior interacted with His followers before His ascension into heaven. He wanted them to know that He was not deserting them. He would be with them to guide them and give them strength, even in the face of persecution.
This passage includes three sources for our ability as followers of Jesus to offer forgiveness. First, it begins with confirmation that Jesus is not dead but is risen. Mary Magdalene proclaims to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (v. 18). Second, after making Himself known to Mary, Jesus encouraged His frightened, hiding disciples. Proving that a locked door was no barrier to His resurrected body, Jesus appeared and twice said, “Peace be with you!” (vv. 19, 21).
The proof of Jesus’ resurrection and the proclamation of His peace should strengthen the disciples for their new calling. Just as His Father had sent Him into the world, now He was sending them. And there was yet a third source of encouragement for them: They would not be alone but would have the power of the Holy Spirit (v. 22).
The power of the Holy Spirit would enable them to offer forgiveness (v. 23). They would be witnesses to the Savior, who makes it possible for people to know God. With the proof of His resurrection, His promise of peace, and the power of the Holy Spirit we can have the confidence to live for Him.
The Lord be with you! As Christ’s follower, you have been given the power of the Holy Spirit. With His peace and through His power, you can point others to the resurrected Savior, the only One who can forgive their sin and guarantee their eternal future. Ask the Spirit to go before you and prepare their hearts to hear that life-changing message.