I have to see it for myself.
In an age where you can place Bernie Sanders sitting on a chair with his arms folded at any event in the world and show the picture to “prove” it, or place the EverGreen cargo ship blocking waterways around the world with a clip of a photo and a paste on another, it’s perhaps easy to understand why we are a bit skeptical about pictures proving a point. When it seems unbelievable, we maybe believe, it is unbelievable.
We all have an air of skepticism and doubt, because I am guessing we all have been duped before. Whether it was a convincing April Fools joke or a well-doctored picture, we have been deceived.
We don’t like to be deceived. We desire and seek the truth.
And sometimes our only truth is that what we can see, touch, and experience ourselves.
So, I can’t blame Thomas.
The news of the resurrection was too important to be duped, tricked or persuaded to believe a lie. I would guess he wanted to believe the reports of the women and the 10 other disciples…but he wanted to see Jesus, touch him and experience the risen Jesus for himself.
I’m glad he did.
More than that, I’m glad Jesus allowed him to.
Best of all, Jesus obliged him. Here’s how it went down:
John 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus wanted everyone of his closest followers to be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was alive. But more than that, he wanted Thomas to be convinced he was alive…for Thomas’ sake. He wanted to replace the doubts with certainty.
But he also did it for my sake. He wants me to “see and believe” for my sake…my salvation’s sake. But he knew I would have a doubt or two like Thomas did. By Jesus allowing Thomas to touch his hands and put his hand in his side, he allows me to do it vicariously too. It’s like I’m there having the same doubts as Thomas, and also receiving the same certainty from Jesus.
What else do I need? Nothing. I have the experiences of all the women, all the disciples, all the followers of Jesus that morning. I have the record of four witness accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus. I have what I need to believe Jesus is my Savior and by believing have eternal life in his name. The Apostle John communicates this truth immediately after he wrote about Thomas:
John 20:30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The message and facts of Easter are certain. Jesus is alive…and because he lives, we also will live!
Apply: What doubts or questions do you wish you could ask Jesus? Is there a Bible account that asks or records a similar question and answer? I bet there is…if I can help, let me know! (email@example.com)
Prayer: Jesus thank you for removing any doubt that you rose from the dead. Lead me to believe with certainty the facts and impact of your resurrection to the blessing of spending eternity with you. AMEN.