Well, team, we’ve made it. It’s here! Easter Sunday! Christ has risen from the grave, crushing the head of the enemy, defeating death and conquering the grave once and for all!
The reality of a Sunday Kingdom – where life wins over death – is upon us. We are a people that belong to the One who is found among the living.
Yet, this morning, as I read through and thought about the Gospel accounts of the third day, I couldn’t help but hang out with Thomas for a bit.
“But Thomas (called ‘Twin’), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were telling him, ‘We’ve seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.’
A week later his (Jesus’) disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.’
Thomas responded to him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” – John 20:24-28 CSB
If you’ve spent about 2 minutes in a church, you’ve probably heard about Doubting Thomas. I grew up picturing him as this snotty dude that rolled his eyes at his fellow disciples and was about as sarcastic as I hope to be when I grow up. He just has a bit of a bad rap with the church folk.
But over the last few months, and especially today, I find myself seeing Thomas in a different light, having more compassion for the guy.
Today I read these verses with a little color commentary in my own mind that went a lil somethin like this: “Guys, I can’t. I have put too much hope into this to be let down. Please do not fill my head and my heart with this if it isn’t true. I cannot continue to put hope out there and get hurt again. Friday crushed me. He died. Unless I touch Him, I can’t put myself out there for Him again.”
And then, a whole friggin week later, Jesus shows up (JUST BY WALKING THROUGH A WALL MIGHT I ADD), and gives Thomas what he needed.
“Here, Thomas. Put your finger here. It’s me. Don’t be afraid. I’m here.”
Thomas’ response hits my heart today. He needed the physical Jesus to ease his pain and fill his heart with hope again. He couldn’t just take someone else’s word for it.
And the most beautiful thing is that Jesus does show up again, and gives Thomas exactly what he needs.
He didn’t give him a 45 minute sermon on doubt and disbelief.
He didn’t tell him to find an accountability partner to ask him how he’s doing with trusting the Lord on a regular basis.
He didn’t shame him for having feelings that Christians “aren’t supposed to have.”
He gave him the Messiah he needed.
He gave him the Bread of Life.
He gave him his Resurrected King.
And that’s what I’m leaving Holy Week with – a Resurrected King.
But I’m also leaving Holy Week with a little bit of Thomas, asking Jesus to renew my hope by showing me Himself.
And I have no doubt that He’ll do just that.