When Jesus had risen from the dead, His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene. On the evening of the same day, where the disciples were gathered, He came again upon the scene.
“Peace be with you,” He shared with them, showing them His hands and side.
“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you,” was the immediate instruction from their beloved Master, teacher, and guide.
He breathed on them, saying to receive the Holy Spirit, and that He was sending them out to declare…the forgiveness of sins through His shed blood for all with whom they would ultimately share.
Thomas hadn’t been present at that wonderful moment, so only later, was he told. His fellow disciples were saying that they, too, had seen the Lord–but Thomas’s reaction to this was cold.
“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later, Jesus again appeared to the disciples; but this time, Thomas was there. Again, Jesus greeted them with His peace but turned to Thomas with words of faith that He began to share.
“Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
Of course, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” He now believed with every fiber of his being. Yet Jesus wanted him (and us) to understand that believing is seeing!
Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Lord, may this teaching of Yours on faith, and faith in You, be one that’s wholeheartedly received.
Some people today, too, have doubts that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead actually took place. But be blessed to believe, as Jesus said, in the miracle of His resurrection–the unmerited gift to us of God’s love and grace.
P. A. Oltrogge
(Based on the account in John 20)
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31 NKJV