“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 20:29
Thomas the twin was perhaps a lot like me — he was neither an optimist or a pessimist but a realist — he saw things for what they were and wanted proof before he would believe. When, because Lazarus had died, Jesus wanted to return to Judea where the religious rulers sought to kill Him, the Scriptures tells us, “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). When Jesus spoke of His return to the Father, Thomas was blunt and “saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).
There are a lot of us who are skeptics in this world. With Thomas, we would say: “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” (John 20:25).
Jesus cared enough for Thomas that He appeared again eight days later, specifically for Thomas that he too might believe! Jesus appeared and said 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” (John 20:27). And, when Thomas saw Jesus, he “answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
I, for one, am so thankful that God has graciously brought me to believe despite my skepticism and despite my need for definitive proof. The Holy Spirit convinced me of the truthfulness of the Scriptures, both by definitive evidence related to the manuscripts and by the fact that what the Scriptures say accurately describes me and all I see in this world. I guess I could almost say that I’ve touched with my fingers and hands the very things described in the Scriptures — my own sinful nature and the curse of sin upon this world.
By the grace of God, I’ve come to see why only Jesus, the Son of God made man, could redeem me from my sin and death by living a holy life in my stead and by making full atonement for my sins by bearing my guilt and shame and dying upon the cross, condemned and forsaken of God, for my transgressions. As Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before Christ Jesus, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
And, what a blessing it is to believe that Jesus died for all our sins and rose again victorious on the third day (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)! Why? Through faith in Christ Jesus, we have peace with God — the peace of sins forgiven and of being made acceptable to God (cf. Romans 5:1; Ephesians 1:6-7). We have the sure hope that, as Christ was raised from the dead on the third day, so also we will be raised up on the last day unto life everlasting (1 Corinthians 15:20ff.; John 14:1ff.; 2 Corinthians 5:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 4:13ff.; 1 Peter 1:3ff.).
Jesus’ words to Thomas are true: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for revealing Yourself to me through Your Word that I too might believe and share in the blessings of forgiveness of sins and life everlasting which You won for all when You made atonement upon the cross for the sins of the world and rose again on the third day. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]