Debbie Salter Goodwin
Lockdowns and Openings
That’s what we’ve been experiencing during this pandemic. We’ve sustained an uncomfortable and unnatural lockdown of unbelievable proportion. The whole world waits for somebody to find all the right keys that will let us out!
Maybe that’s what makes me take notice of this after-Easter story when the disciples were in a lockdown for their protection, just like us. Then, suddenly, without a key to the locked door, Jesus just appeared. After all, what’s a locked door after resurrection?
Still, why did Jesus come through the locked doors? Why didn’t he knock?
As Psalm 139 reminds us, there is nowhere we can go to get away from the presence of the one who loves us. Nothing is too far away. Nothing can bury us. No darkness can hide us. Jesus always knows how to come where we are. He is the ultimate first responder.
The question is whether we recognize his presence in the dark places where we see no light or in the deep places where we are overwhelmed or in the faraway places where we feel lost or hopeless. Do we even look for him in those places? Or do we look for him to remove those places? Big difference!
But remember, Jesus didn’t remove the lock. The door was still locked to everyone else but Jesus. Isn’t that enough? That nothing can keep Jesus from getting to us in our most lonely or lost places? Or do we put up other barriers? Do we set prerequisites about what we want changed or where we want answers? I fear that when we set the barriers, we miss the amazing reunion the disciples found with Jesus. A sweet surprise. A powerful presence. Who else comes through locked doors without knocking them down?
The disciples would need to know this never-locked-out truth when they sat in jail cells where unfriendly jailors kept all the keys. They would need to know that Jesus would be with them in every locked down place they found themselves in.
And that’s the Easter message for us, too. Jesus comes through our locked downs to be with us in any darkness, confusion, hiding, or pain. But now, on the other side of Easter, we should expect to see him. That’s the difference resurrection makes.
As we continue to celebrate and live resurrection truth, look for Jesus to show up in the middle of family fun or family pain. He’ll push through locked doors but never bully his way into your awareness. We live under-privileged if we let any lockdown distort this truth.
So where has Jesus come through a locked door for you?
Picture: Bob McEvoy, Pixaby