2nd of Easter – Thomas & Safe Environments (2)
The doors were locked for “fear of the Jewish officials.” The inner room was fraught with (let’s guess) danger, terror, self-loathing, self-recrimination, differing senses of no exit, no future. Who would have blamed whom? Who would have attacked the others? Tempers flare? Tears of remorse? Breakdown of fellowship? Insecurity? Self-defense rules?
Whatever conjectures we set forth reveal to us our experience of, our anxiety over the breakdown of civility and charity:
Isaiah 24:10f The city of chaos is broken down, every house is shut up so that no one can enter. There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine; all joy has reached its eventide; the gladness of the earth is banished.
When Jesus came and stood in their midst, he began the process of creating a safe environment for the disciples. It was not there before. It began to grow and blossom in his presence.
Safe for what? Jesus began to establish a safe environment for his disciples, saying, “Peace be with you!” As the psalm says, the Lord speaks peace to those who turn to him in their hearts. He was making a place for them to turn from fear and violence.
Psalm 85:8–10 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Only in such an environment could they look at him and contemplate the violence done to him, his hands and his side.
Only in such a safe environment could they begin to see how Christ’s body paid the price for their own woundedness. This is key.