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.” (Jn. 20:21-22)
Jesus said these words when He appeared to the disciples gathered in the upper room on the first Easter Sunday. It was 50 days later on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would be poured out with power. But here Jesus comforts the disciples and assures them that He is alive, and even after most of them had run away in despair at the crucifixion, Jesus actually commissions them and re-commissions them to His service.
Today is Pentecost Sunday, the 50thday of Easter, the day we remember and celebrate Jesus pouring out His Spirit on the Christian Church. And Jesus still meets with His people wherever they gather in His name – He is here in our midst. And He still ministers His peace, His comfort. He still breathes His Spirit on His people and commissions them. But notice this: He meets with disciples who have failed, with disciples who have been cowardly, disciples who are afraid, disciples in hiding, disciples doubting. In short, Jesus meets with people who need His peace, who need His Spirit.
Has your heart been troubled this week? Have you been overwhelmed, angry, worried? Have you given in to sin, have you stumbled? Then this table is for you. You qualify. This meal is not your reward for being good. This meal proclaims grace for those who are not good. This meal is the peace of Christ, purchased for the guilty, by His precious blood. Are you guilty? Then you qualify. This meal is for you.
And this is what Jesus says to you, as you come in faith. He says, Peace to you! As my Father has sent me, I also send you. Jesus assures you that He has made peace by His blood. Your sins are forgiven. You are washed whiter than snow. And He sends you back out into the world, just as He was sent into the world by the Father. He sends you back to work, back into your families, back to fight sin again. And He sends you with His peace, with His comfort, with His Spirit.
So, come and welcome to Jesus Christ.