Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blessed are Those Who Have Not Seen Yet have Believed

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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 see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”( Jn 20:24-29)
So Thomas gets to put his hands in the wounds. We can learn from this something about our own resurrection. We believe in the resurrection of the flesh. That is we go to heaven not in soul alone, but in body and soul, as man which we were created to be. God created our body first, then gave it a soul breathing the breath of life into Adam. When he restores creation he restores our bodies. But it won’t exactly be the same body. It is a glorified body. A body that knows no sin, and yet has some continuity with the body we now possess. The question is, if our bodies are made perfect in the resurrection why does Christ’s body retain the wounds? I don’t know except to say Jesus wanted it this way, at least long enough for him to show them to Thomas and convince him of faith.
It is at this point that Thomas believes. He now worships Jesus saying that he is His Lord and God. This is what it means to believe in Jesus, to recognize and acknowledge that he is Lord and God. And when you recognize this then the cross is given the utmost importance in your life, because it is no longer just some man dying on the cross for you, but God himself. God has tasted the bite of death, he has joined man in the ultimate dilemma, that he might bring us out of death to life.
Thomas was able to see, but we only get to hear about what he saw and what he touched. We have ample reason to believe based on the testimony of the apostles. But we don’t have the evidence that was presented from them. What we see, we see through their eyes. But when we believe based on what they saw, we are blessed indeed. We are blessed with life itself, the life we now live filled with meaning and purpose, and the joy of his salvation because the life everlasting is the life now.

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