John 20: 26-29 NIV “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!” 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.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Can you imagine when the realization of what has happened to Jesus hits the minds and hearts of the Apostles? Can you imagine what it would have done to you and I if we had of been there? In this case it is the Apostle Thomas who sees Jesus for the first time after His resurrection. You can almost hear the tumblers falling into place.
I work as a part time security guard now (semi-retired) on a military base that I am quite familiar with from my military days in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It gets me out of the house and active five days out of every two weeks, which I find is a nice balance. I’m 72 years old now so getting outside and being physically active is important. I am outside a lot of the time and when I am not busy doing my security thing, I can see the sky and the panorama of the Halifax waterfront. I try to remind myself that even though I am pretty low on the food chain now, compared to my former days, the God who created our universe, our galaxy, our solar system and this earth is my Lord. Then to make it interesting I envision the surface of our earth and the small province of Nova Scotia in Canada, then I zero in on Halifax and the patch of ground that I am standing on. It’s pretty hard to comprehend sometimes but the fact of the matter is that it is true. And He knows you and He knows me. He hears our prayers, He knows our hearts, He loves us.
I don’t know about you but this scripture always grabs me. It touches my heart because of the reality of what it says and shows. This is our God, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God that is standing in front of Thomas. He was just crucified and died on the cross and now He stands before Thomas. I can hear the emotion in Thomas’s voice and I’m pretty sure Thomas fell to his knees. Can you think of the things that would race through your mind if you were Thomas?
But wait, THIS IS JESUS, He died on the cross, we thought He was the Son of God and yet here He stands, alive, in front of me and I see the wounds! Not only is He able to walk on water, calm the storm, feed multitudes with almost nothing, heal the sick and demonstrate dominion over demons but the fact that He is standing here in front of me, having appeared instantly on this side of a locked door in this room means that when He told me I had nothing to fear from physical death if I believed in Him is true! He just proved it! My Lord and my God!
Was this what Thomas thought? Only God and Thomas know the answer to that question but I’m pretty sure it was something along those lines. Jesus is God, He walked with us, He talked with us, they killed Him and yet here He stands. Ask me if that is a day that they will never forget! Some day we’ll find out what went through their minds,
We see the Angel of the Lord many times in the Old Testament accepting worship from those to whom He was presenting Himself and we understand that this manifestation was Jesus, prior to His being born into a physical body. The God of the universe visiting man. We see the manifestation of God being present in the Tabernacle, in the Temple(s) and once again, this was God dwelling with man, dwelling with Israel, His chosen nation, until their sin couldn’t be ignored anymore and His visible presence was gone. But when Jesus was born, it changed everything. This was God, the Son of God, part of the Trinity, truly dwelling with us as one of us, in the flesh, in a physical body. We see the ministry of Jesus where He proved He was God by the miracles He performed, by the perfect obedience He lived and by the words that He spoke. Jesus said that whoever truly saw Him for who He was had seen the Father, face to face, in the flesh. And His witness was true. The Apostles and disciples believed Him and then …….. Jesus died on the cross.
I can’t imagine what the Apostles and disciples felt when Jesus was taken down from the cross and buried. Crushed probably doesn’t adequately cover it. Talk about a valley. But Jesus had told them what would happen, how He would be killed and on the third day He would rise again. And then, for a period of 40 days, Jesus appeared to the Apostles and some of the disciples.
Acts 10:39-42 NIV “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”
And this witness to Thomas was one of them.
And once again, this changed everything.
Can my mind comprehend the reality of God’s Holy Spirit living in me, not always, sometimes it’s hard, but I know it’s true. His Spirit has spoken to me, guided me, lifted me many many times throughout my life. His Spirit has changed my heart, changed my mind, changed me. I know……, He hasn’t finished with me yet, I am sanctified but still in this body, still being made Holy while being viewed as Holy by God our Father because of what Jesus did and what Jesus still does.
Can my mind comprehend that the God of this universe visited this earth as a person, died and then rose again? I wasn’t there, I never saw it, never experienced the reality that the Apostles and early disciples did experience, BUT I believe their witness, I believe their testimony. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
That’s you, where ever you are and that’s me, here in Nova Scotia, standing on a road, doing security work. He’s our God, our hope and it is beautiful and wonderful!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!