You would think that right after Jesus was raised from the dead (which we celebrated yesterday at Easter) that things would all be hunky dory. Nothing could be further from the truth. There was still fear. There was still doubt. There was still a sense that things had gone horribly wrong.
Jesus followers were holed up in the ‘upper room’ (supposedly where Jesus had celebrated the Last Supper a few short days before) fearing the Jews. And then, the hardest thing for us modern folk (20 centuries removed) to believe, but essential for the people there at the time and ‘on the ground’, happened… Jesus appeared ALIVE and interacted with those he loved: Read it (John 20:19-29):
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, 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 the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, 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. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt 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 come to believe.”
Most of us have to take that long journey, like Thomas, from “I will NOT believe” to “my Lord and my God”. It’s not easy. But, for those who have taken the challenge, there has been new life, full life.
The life of faith is a rocky start for everyone… but that does not mean its not worthwhile.
Today is a good day to start!