“Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them,‘Peace be with you.’” – John 20:19
It was the first day of the week, morning. All the students were gathered together in the open-air tent waiting for the teacher to speak.
“Peace be to you,” he said. “That is what Messiah said to His disciples when He greeted them. As it is written, ‘Yeshua, Jesus, Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace be to you!”
“This is the only record of Messiah saying those words. It was the first thing He said when He appeared to them after the resurrection. He could have said anything, but He chose to say, ‘Peace be to you!’ In fact, He said it twice in the same encounter. There must be something about those words. Why do you think He said it, and that it’s only recorded after the resurrection, not before?”
The students were silent.
“When Isaiah prophesied of Messiah’s atoning death, he wrote this: ‘He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The punishment for our peace was upon Him…’ Peace only comes after the atonement is made. So it was only after Messiah died on the cross and rose that peace could be given. But Isaiah’s prophecy doesn’t say ‘our peace.’ It says ‘our shalom.’ And when Messiah spoke the blessing to His disciples, He didn’t say ‘peace’ either. He said, ‘Shalom aleichem.’ ‘Shalom be upon you.’”
“But if shalom means peace,” said one of the students, “then what’s the difference?”
“The difference is everything,” the teacher said. “For shalom means much more than peace. Shalom means safety, rest, prosperity, wholeness, welfare, completion, fullness, soundness, and even well-being. So what blessing did Messiah speak to His disciples? His blessing can be taken this way: ‘May you be blessed with safety, with rest, with prosperity, with wholeness, with completion, with fullness, with soundness, with well-being…and with peace.’”
“All that in one blessing?” asked one of the students.
“All that in His shalom. All that in His sacrifice. And all that is the blessing Messiah gives to His disciples…and what He gives to you. Their part, and your part, is to learn what exactly that means…and to receive it.”
Today, make it your aim to receive the shalom of Messiah – His peace, fullness, rest, completion, well-being, and wholeness. Shalom Aleichem to you!
Jonathan Cahn is a Messianic rabbi and biblical scholar best known for his best selling novel The Harbinger. Cahn is the head of the Beth Israel worship center in Wayne, New Jersey, whose liturgy focuses on Jesus as savior. Learn more at hopeoftheworld.com.