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Locks Are No Barrier to Jesus

Devotions

Do you put too much faith in your career? A staff writer for The Atlantic recently observed that for some “work has morphed into a religious identity—promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver.” He warned that “workism” is a dead end, “setting itself up for collective anxiety, mass disappointment, and inevitable burnout.”

The only faith that can satisfy is faith in Christ, because only He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Not all the doors and gates in the Bible’s redemption story are metaphorical. In today’s reading, the risen Christ demonstrated the nature of His glorified human body by miraculously passing through closed and locked doors (vv. 19, 26). The disciples were hiding behind them in fear. Would the Jewish leaders, having killed the rabbi, target them next?

Instead of soldiers coming to arrest them, Jesus appeared. He greeted them, “Peace be with you!” (v. 19). There was no blame assigned for their individual and collective Passion Week failures. He met them where they were, showing them His scars to confirm His identity (vv. 20, 27). Their fear and doubt were transformed into joy!

Jesus then sent them into the world with the good news of the gospel (v. 21). He even gave them a pre-Pentecost taste of the Holy Spirit to empower them (v. 22). The message was that forgiveness has already been accomplished (v. 23)—all that hearers need to do is believe in the name of Christ to receive God’s gift of salvation.

Recording these words and events helped the apostle John fulfill his purpose of writing this Gospel: to inspire belief “that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (v. 31).

>> Let’s sing praises to our risen Savior today. Do you have a favorite hymn or song that celebrates the resurrection? Why not sing or listen to it? My personal choices would be “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” and David Crowder’s “Forgiven.”

Pray with Us

Our reading today celebrates Jesus as “the Messiah, the Son of God” (John 20:31). Let’s thank Him that we “may have life in his name” (v. 31) and be encouraged as well that His gift of salvation and forgiveness is available to all who believe.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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