Hi dear friends... well, it the happiest day of the year today!
Today is Sunday, or in reality the Lord’s Resurrection Day... as it was on this day almost 2,000 years ago the Lord Jesus Christ was miraculously raised from the dead, a giant stone rolled away and He was seen in the next 40 days by many hundreds of people. There was among these folk, one of the very disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, who would not believe that He was risen, as He said!
Are we like that, I wonder!?
Let’s take a look at this passage.. from John 20: 1 - 21 , 24, 25
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them,
Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Thomas, today, is of course known as “Doubting Thomas”, and as we read these verses, it is not without good reason.
No doubt at that time, Thomas watched on in great horror at the slaying in the most brutal fashion of his Lord and Master. He was thus weak in faith and unbelieving. There is a verse Paul wrote, which comes to my mind when I look upon the sins of others..
It’s often paraphrased “There but for the grace of God, go I ..” or more properly, “..by the grace of God, I am what I am” 1 Cor 15:10
We are but frail, human flesh, God sees this frailty, and God does not judge us in the same fashion which we judge others.
“.. for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh upon the heart” 1 Sam 16:8
But Thomas came to see and thus believe.
I think Thomas here is a living example to us all; for in some ways, all of us walk in doubt, despair and unbelief in different parts of our lives. Our loving Father God, He sees and understands.. and forgives us, WHEN we come to Him for forgiveness, as Thomas did.
Notice though... he was left in unbelief for EIGHT DAYS! Oh, may we not be thus in unbelief, unnecessarily. I wonder how Thomas felt in those 8 troubled, heart breaking days? .. what loss for us likewise when we wander in varying degrees of doubt, fear, anger and unbelief.
“And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:26 - 29
Are we able to say like Thomas: MY LORD, and MY GOD?!
I pray so - LET US BE NOT FAITHLESS, BUT BELIEVING.
Especially today, as we celebrate OUR risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“For He is not here, He is risen AS HE SAID”!
On this day when we remember the greatest gift of all, when the Lord Jesus laid down His life on the cross, shed His blood for our sin, and on the third day rose AGAIN!