“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!'” (John 20:26b-28)
The apostle Thomas was a brave and spirit filled man who died preaching God’s word. He was made bold by his encounter with the risen Jesus. According to tradition, he was the apostle who originally brought Christianity to India. He preached the Gospel to Jews living there and also to the indigenous people. He was martyred in 72 A.D. near Madras. Yet the world remembers him as doubting Thomas for he refused to believe the testimony of his fellow disciples, men who had been his brothers and companions for 3 years, men he should have been able to trust implicitly. He failed to believe because, from what we see of him in John’s gospel, he was a pessimist, a skeptic, a man filled with questions.
Few of us would probably admit to it, but most of us identify with Thomas. We have doubts, we have questions, we have times of unbelief. Yet as we see in the gospel account, these times of doubt and uncertainty when we wrestle with God for answers, often lead to great revelations. Thomas was rewarded with a great and astonishing blessing: not only did He see the risen Lord, but he was blessed to proclaim an earth-shaking revelation. “My Lord and My God!” What did Thomas see that convinced him, that turned his doubts to faith? We are not told that he actually touched Jesus as he had said he would do even though Jesus permitted him to. No, he did not have to touch for he saw Jesus with the mortal wounds on his body. And He was alive. He was overcome with passion, joy and faith for he saw this great reality. What passion that comes when our doubts bring us faith! What joy we know after fear and doubt has brought us face to face with Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus is a great revelation that fills us with joy. We feel ecstatic when we recall that His resurrection is the assurance of our own, the assurance of eternal life. No matter how much the wicked may prosper in this life, no matter what they may do to us or say to us, that does not matter. We know that we serve a risen savior. Only we Christians can state that. No other faith can make that same claim. The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest, most convincing and unrivaled sign that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. And that is cause for great rejoicing.