You are a witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In our Gospel reading, the disciples are reeling from the events they have just witnessed. After they witnessed Jesus crucified and buried, they saw the empty tomb. In the chaos of trying to understand what was happening, word begins to spread that Jesus is appearing to disciples far and wide. Disciples on the road to Emmaus unknowingly share a conversation and meal with the risen Jesus. Other disciples are hiding in fear behind locked doors waiting for some assurance that what they were experiencing was real and if it was safe for them to live public lives. Amid the chaos, in that chamber of fear and confusion, Jesus appears and calms the storm in their lives.
“Peace to you!”, are the words of Jesus. These words are followed by two questions: “Why are you troubled and why do you doubt?” These questions may appear to be naïve, especially to those enduring the uncertainties of life. But Jesus is far from naïve. He is sovereign. He has everything under control. What looked like his final fate in this world was nothing but victory for all of eternity. The disciples encounter the risen Jesus and have their fears vanquished and their hearts encouraged. The tomb was not the end of the relationship between the disciples and Jesus. Instead, the empty tomb was the proclamation that things on earth would be forever changed. And Jesus was not finished with his disciples—there was work to be done.
We are witnesses along with these disciples. Their task is our task. To go and proclaim the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus to all nations. Regardless of our struggles, fears, anxieties, or doubts, Jesus is alive. He has set us free from the chains of bondage to sin and death. We are witnesses to this miracle and, thus, we must testify. For because Christ is risen, all have the hope of eternal life. Amen.