April 03, 2019

Peace From An Empty Place by Lynn J Simpson

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:19

An empty tomb. 

The tomb which had held Jesus, their Saviour, their teacher, their friend, was empty. The broken body of their King, gone.

Peter and John, along with the other disciples (except for Judas for he had betrayed Jesus, and for Thomas who was not with them that day) drew together behind a locked door. John’s gospel teaches it was a first day of the week, and Peter and John had recently witnessed an empty tomb except for strips of linen, and the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head.

An empty tomb. 

Although scripture does not name the room where the disciples were hiding that day, bible scholars think it may have been the room upstairs where they stayed before (Act 1:13) and reference it as the Upper Room.

In the Upper Room that day, I imagine the disciples fear and sadness laced the air, along with the lingering smell of  bread and wine from their last supper when Jesus, their Saviour, their teacher, their friend was still there.

I imagine Peter feeling regret, the roosters crow still echoing in his mind.

I imagine John, tears flowing freely in grief and wondering how best to honour his Saviours request to take care of Jesus’ mother, Mary. 

I imagine, even though they huddled together, the room felt empty without the presence of Jesus whose love they had known. 

A love that now seemed gone, with an empty tomb while they huddled in that locked Upper Room. 

And, I imagine, all the disciples hoping they could have just one more day with Him. 


Then, He is suddenly standing before them. 

“Peace be with you,” He says. 

Peace be with you.

Even after all He had endured—whippings, a crown of thorns, a cross to carry, nails in His hands, and all the sin of world upon Him…

His first words to His beloved disciples were to settle their grieving, fearful, and shameful hearts.

“Peace be with you!”

And “The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” John 20:20.5

Even when all seems empty, gone--a loved one, a job, a dream, a friend, a child moving out, consequences from a mistake- and your heart is grieving, may you remember Jesus first words to His disciples that day He appeared.

"Peace be with you."

Those words are for you too, today and forever more.

Lynn J Simpson is just a gal doing life one step at a time. She blogs at A Place To Breathe and you can find more of her Breathing Spaces Photography at Lynn J Simpson Photography. You can also check out her publications at Publications.


  1. You had us imagining these moments with you, Lynn. I could feel the grief weighing on them as they tried to figure out what had just happened. And that overwhelming relief and joy when He stepped into that mournful group. Oh my!

    Thank you for your lovely post.

    1. This post was inspired by a song called Empty, which is part of The Story collection. I'd recommend checking the collection out, as the songs are written just like our prompt this month!

  2. You knkw, I can not imagine life without the Holy Spirit, that still small voice. But this was before the first Pentecost.


    Peace be with you. Shalom.

  3. Jesus' peace is eternal and life-giving.

  4. His peace is truly a blessing for us. :-) His peace provides comfort.

  5. Thanks for this story, Lynn, and thanks for reminding us that Jesus' words, "Peace be with you!" are meant for us today as well.

  6. Yes, thank you for this post ... Peace be with us, powerful words to have spoken to us from one who just overcame death. I also appreciated your photography.

  7. This is such a timely message with Easter ahead and I'm blessed to soak it all in right now. Thank you for your beautiful description of that glorious day and for reminding me of those powerful words Christ spoke to us all.


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