On Friday I shared a bit with the Come As You Are (CAYA) worship at Arlington Heights UMC at 6:30pm on John 20. The previous post gave a glimpse as to where I was headed and I anyone who took the time to consider the juxtaposition of John and Genesis.
I keep coming back to the different responses of Abel and Jesus. Both were unjustly killed. Both were men of God. But the thing is Abel cried out to God from the ground. The slaves of Egypt cried out to God for the injustices which were being brought upon them. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah cried out to God for the injustices happening there. Throughout time, many humans cry out to God for revenge. But this is where Jesus is so remarkably different.
The first words out of his mouth is not words of revenge, but "Peace".
He is killed like all the other victims of the world but he declares peace and forgiveness. Which seems like no big deal because, well lets face it, it is Jesus. That is what he is supposed to do.
But when we actually see this sort of thing happening it gets mass media coverage and people are shocked. For instance, several years ago when a shooter killed several Amish children in a school, the Amish community gathered together and went to the home of the shooter's family and ministered to them. They forgave the shooter. While some in the world were paralyzed and others cried for the heads of gun manufactures or legislators, the Amish forgave. The media and the world was shocked.
That is the type of shock that must have come over the disciples in that upper room. Perhaps that is what Thomas and the others could not believe. Not the resurrection, but the commandment to forgive.