Jesus had a disciple named Thomas. We know him as Doubting Thomas. Why doubting? Shortly after Jesus death, imagine being holed up inside a house, fearful, confused and desperately seeking answers. What happened? Jesus, was brutally tortured and executed. The word out on the street says they are searching for Thomas and any friends. As they huddle together, they wonder; who will be next?
Eleven frightened disciples followed Jesus faithfully until the cross. Could there be a Kingdom if the king was dead? Could there be miracles if the miracle worker disappeared? Could you offer sight to the blind, healing to the sick or hope for the poor if the one who made the promises ceased to exist?
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary come running from the tomb to claim they saw Jesus — alive!
“No way!” Thomas says. “I heard his final words. I saw the spear thrust into his body. I saw him die! I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds for myself and place my hand into the wound on his side!”
Suddenly Jesus was standing there! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he held out his hands to see and he showed his side. Most are filled with joy when seeing our Lord but not Thomas. Then Jesus walks over and says: “Thomas, put your finger here in my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (from John 20:20-27)
What else can Thomas say? “My Lord and my God! Please forgive me for doubting but I am so afraid!”
Jesus replies: “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.” Jesus is alive! He’s reassuring everyone in the room, just like the old days, only different. Something has changed. You can feel it.
Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true.” Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures. (Luke 26:44-45)
Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection had a purpose and was predicted by scripture. After years of sitting at Christ’s feet, the teaching becomes clear. Then Jesus said: “With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘there is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.’ You are witnesses –” (Luke 26:47-48)
- Thomas experienced the miracle of knowing Christ is alive! So have you!
- Like Thomas, we are to take this message from Jesus Christ to everyone.
- Share the message with confidence because we are Christ’s living witnesses.
Thomas might then ask: “But what about those who are waiting outside? What if others do not believe us?” I am so afraid! It’s one thing to believe; it’s another to face fear.
Then Jesus said: “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” (Luke 26:49)
There is the answer! Did you catch it? God understands your fear and is sending help —
- Jesus is alive and you are a witness: now believe!
- You are to extend Christ’s message of faith and hope to others.
- Do not be afraid for the Holy Spirit will fill you with power from heaven!
Are you a Doubting Thomas? Are you still holed up, fearful, confused and desperately looking for answers and courage?
Hear the Good News! Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again! Easter is the promise that you will be filled with the power of God’s Holy Spirit!
Do not be afraid! Confidently open your doors and take Christ’s message of forgiveness and hope to all the nations. Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!