By CRAIG HARRIS
John 20: 24-28 (NIV): Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "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." 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!"
The conversion of skeptics is one of the proofs we have that Jesus truly did rise from the dead. Here, John gives us one of the first cases. We refer to Thomas as "doubting Thomas" because of this story. But Thomas gets a bit of a bad rap; he simply said what almost all of us would have said in the same circumstance. If someone told you a friend had come back from the dead, you would likely say something like, "I'll believe it when I see him for myself."
The next week Thomas was there when Jesus appeared. Jesus invited him to look at him, touch him, see for himself that he really was alive again. Jesus had a body that could be touched. That is important. But what is really important is Thomas was absolutely convinced that Jesus had indeed returned from the dead.
Notice Thomas' reaction to realizing Jesus had been resurrected - he called him his Lord and God. That should be our reaction as well. In the next verses, Jesus points out that Thomas believed because he got to see him for himself. "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed," he said.
That's us. We must believe based on the eyewitness accounts we find in the Bible. That's where faith comes in, but we have sufficient evidence that the Bible is true and that Jesus really did rise from the dead. Now it's up to us to stop doubting and believe.
Year one of Instant Message is now available for Kindle and Kindle apps. Go to www.instantmessagelive.com. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.