36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you:Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Even after the disciples had heard from reports from the women and their friend Peter, they still had not personally experienced the resurrected Jesus. Their first response to him is fear. So he says "peace be with you". In our church there is a time in our service where we greet each other with the "peace of the Lord". Notice it is a peace of the Lord. One of the greatest gifts of the Holy Spirit, that the disciples will soon receive at Pentecost, is the gift of "peace".
Not only does Jesus offer them His peace, but he shows him his hands, feet and side (his side in John's version 20:20). These are the three places he was pierced with nails and a speer. They are proof that it was the same Jesus who was crucified on the cross.
Despite this, they were still not completely convinced. They were probably deep in shock. So Jesus goes one step further and asks for a piece of fish, which he eats in their presence.
So why is this story so important? First, it shows how willing Jesus is to show his closest followers proof of that He is Risen as he foretold. This been the consistent theme in all of the post-resurrection appearances. I This story affirms in a very clear way the authenticity of the Christian faith. How? After reconvening with Jesus, the disciples go from disillusioned, disappointed and scared men, to those who boldly preach, teach, and heal in Jesus' name. If they had not seen and believed in the reality of the Risen Jesus, would they have died for something they weren't convinced was true?? I don't think so. Showing his disciples his hands, feet and side was proof to them He was alive. And they believed this to their death. Jesus' resurrection is the most compelling factual case we have that Jesus was and is the Son of God!