It had been three long and difficult days when Thomas’ friends came to him with the farfetched story that they had been to the tomb where Jesus had been buried, and it was empty. “His body is gone!”. He would not believe it.
“I don’t care if you call me “Doubting Thomas” for the rest of my life, or until the end of time for that matter, unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
His friends may have spent the next week trying to convince him that the tomb really was empty. Thomas may have spent the week trying to make sense of everything that had happened, or supposedly had happened. Then, Jesus came and stood among them and spoke directly to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:27)
I have no way of proving it, but in my imagination I see Thomas falling down on his knees in front of Jesus, and with tears rolling down his face when he said, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
Though we give Thomas a hard time, he’s not so different than you and me, is he?
“Unless I get the answer I want, I will not believe that God is listening to my prayers.”
“Unless I read it in black and white, I will not change how I think on this issue.”
“Unless I hear it from the Lord’s mouth, I will not believe He would want me to go through this kind of suffering.”
“Unless I see a dramatic change in his behavior, I will not believe that the Lord would expect me to stay with this man.”
“Unless I see some improvement in the way my life is going, it just makes no sense to keep living the Christian life.”
Once Thomas saw the Lord and confessed his belief, Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
He was talking about us.
He is talking to us.
He is offering us a blessing if we’ll believe without the proof.
He is offering us a blessing if believe in spite of our doubts.
He is offering us a blessing to believe regardless of the voices telling us to give up.
He is offering us a blessing if we believe even when we are tired, heartbroken, defeated, and looking for a way out.
John adds these words to the end of this discussion with Thomas, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 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.” (John 20:30-31)
There is no way we can physically travel to the tomb where Jesus was buried to see with our own eyes, but we can still believe. The Word tells us that we can still believe and by believing we may have life.
Don’t demand the proof.
Don’t wait for a miracle.
Don’t spend too much time doubting the Lord will do what He said he would do.
He said He would not leave us alone.
… He sent the Counselor.
He said he would defeat death.
… He did.
He has said He will come again.
… He will.
You can believe it. And by believing it, you can have life. Unless I see undisputable proof that the tomb was not empty I’m going to believe it. I hope you will too.
A Norvell Note. Copyright 2009. Tom Norvell. All Rights Reserved.