Looking Back Over Jesus’ Life
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Having named our oldest son Thomas, I have long felt that I should defend the honor of anyone who shares the name. Therefore, I get a little touchy when people talk about “Doubting Thomas.” A reading of Thomas’ encounter with the risen Jesus shows that Thomas has the same questions about how a dead man could be a living Lord as the other disciples. And when he came face to face with this living Lord, Thomas also believed!
As a postscript to this event, you and I have been written into the story by our living Lord. “Blessed are those who have not seen [me] and yet have come to believe.”
You see, I am a believer. The Risen Jesus is my Lord and Savior, even though I have never touched the nail marks in His hand, reached my hand into the spear wound in His side, or looked straight into His eyes. I believe with all my heart, even though I have never seen Jesus face to face. (Or, then, maybe in my own way I have.)
Loving God, thank you for revealing yourself to me as my Living Lord, in the person of Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.