19 During the evening of that first day of the week (of Sabbaths), the doors having been shut, because the disciples were afraid of the Jews, Jesus came and stood amongst them and said (says) to them: “Peace to you”.
20 And saying this His showed both His hands and side, and the disciples rejoiced at seeing the Lord.
We cannot be sure where the disciples were, but it is generally assumed that they were hiding in the Upper Room. They were still afraid that they might be sought out by the Jews, arrested, and be handed over to the Roman authorities for sentencing to death.
This was the reason that the doors were shut up, the inference is that they were locked, barring anyone from entering.
In the Western world we are blessed to live in the knowledge that our homes are not going to be invaded because we are followers of Jesus.
This is not true for many of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Many of them live with the constant threat of their homes being broken into by those who seek to destroy Christians.
As we read about the disciples locking themselves away to avoid being captured by their opponents, let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who face the same issues.
The shut doors were no obstacle for Jesus. This is a great fact of assurance. Wherever we are Jesus is not barred from being with us. A little later Jesus was to make the promise that He would be with us to the end of the age:
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” – Matthew 28.20 (NLT).
Whatever circumstances believers find themselves in we are never going to be in a situation where Jesus is not with us.
Many of the martyrs of the true Church of Jesus spent their last moments in fervent prayer with Jesus. This displayed the reality of Jesus being with us in all situations. These martyrs withstood the temptation to renounce their faith, and they were able to do so because Jesus was with them, encouraging and strengthening them for the ordeal that they were about to enter.
Let this encourage us to know the eternal presence of Jesus with us.