Jesus had told them that he was leaving. Today, John gives us a picture of it, and what it will be like when we join Jesus there. St. John gives a vision of the new heaven and the new earth, the home beautifully crafted and lovingly prepared for the Bride of Christ. Here there is nothing of the old sin, death and pain. All is new for all is done. So now, even in the face of persecution, love led the apostles to boldly proclaim the message of the risen Christ. Filled with joy and the Spirit, Christ’s love compels us to proclaim the same Word of Life.
The paradox of Christ is that he is both Lamb and Shepherd. He saves his flock, by shedding his blood as the Lamb sacrificed for sin. This is the Good Shepherd we needed: God in the flesh, sacrificed for our atonement. But now, washed in his blood, the white robed host is led by the Shepherd-Lamb to the springs of living water and a life where everything that once was wrong is made right forever.
Another miraculous catch of fish brings the disciples scrambling to worship at the feet of their Savior. He appeared in power, to assure them of his presence and providence for what lay ahead. The risen Lord still comes with power through Word and sacrament, assuring us of his forgiveness, promising his Spirit for lives of faithful service, and guaranteeing our resurrection to eternal life.
Final preparation to be the risen Christ’s witnesses begins with sight. The apostles were blessed with visibly seeing the risen Lord. Overcoming their doubts by the power of the Spirit, they would boldly proclaim the new life to be found in the Living One. Blessed to see through eyes of faith, the vision of the First and the Last fills our hearts with this confidence: “Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.” (CW 406)