20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
When He had said this,
The “this” is when Jesus greeted the apostles with the word “peace” twice in the previous verse.
He showed them His hands and His side.
Jesus’ resurrected body retained marks of the crucifixion (1 Co 1:23; Ga 3:1). The disciples were able to see firsthand the wounds Jesus suffered while on the cross. This was His way of showing them that it was truly He Himself. His hands and side were obviously pierced.
His appearance was not that of a ghost or phantom. The physical presence of Jesus gives lie to Docetism, which claims that Jesus did not have a real human body. The book of 1 John also argues against this. This appearance was no mere spirit that rose from the dead. He was the same Jesus they knew but transformed by a resurrection body.
The word “then” is the word therefore. The word “therefore” indicates that the showing of Jesus’ hands and side was effective in settling their souls.
the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
The disciples removed all their doubts when they saw the hands and side of Jesus. The fright of the disciples changed to the joy of knowing that He rose from the dead; they had personally seen the Lord for themselves (Jn 16:20-22). Luke said that they were at first frightened because they thought He was a spirit. Jesus denied He was a ghost and said a “spirit” does not have flesh and bones (Lu 24:36-49).
In this context, the word “Lord” carries the full theological implication of the deity of Christ.
So Jesus said to them again,
Jesus again assured the apostles.
“Peace to you!
The apostles could have assurance that Jesus’ new message to them had credibility.
As the Father has sent Me,
Jesus sent His followers on the same principle upon which the Father sent Him. The apostles were to carry on Jesus’ work, not start a new ministry of their own.
I also send you.”
Jesus recommissioned the apostles (Jn 17:18). They would personally represent Him on earth in His absence. They would have His personal stamp of approval. The commissioning authority from the Father was the same that Jesus possessed. His mission continues and was effective in their ministry (Jn 14:12-14).
All believers represent Christ on earth.
Believers follow in the succession of Christ in their ministry. Each Christian operates under a divine commission. That commission follows the commission of Christ from the Father (Jn 17:18). This mandate is clear in Scripture (Mt 28:18-20; Ac 1:8; 2 Co 5:14-15).
The scars of Jesus proved to the apostles that Jesus truly rose from the dead. Their response was one of joy. The resurrection of Christ is a joy to every Christian.