Nora and I were talking a week or so ago and she said something that stuck with me. She definitely isn’t the first to say it, but her earnestness and the emotion behind it just hit me:
How amazing would it have been to be one of the few who saw Jesus after he was raised and to have confirmation that it is all real?
I preached on Doubting Thomas this week* and aside from all the other stuff you can pull from the story, there was something that hit me like a ton of bricks as I was preparing:
How amazing would it have been to be able to stick your fingers in the holes and know, as a matter of proven fact, that Jesus is the Messiah, and that it’s all real? How wonderful would it be to have confirmation?
We are so ready to start beating up on Thomas because he doubts, but every last one of us – every last one of us – truly wants to be him. Every believer, at least at some point in their faith journey, wants to have a real and tangible sign that God exists and that we’re worshiping a real thing. We each have a moment where God isn’t real, where there is no God, where it’s all a lie and we’re just on this Earth walking towards a pointless end.
How wonderful would be it be to have confirmation? How wonderful to have Jesus say to you, “Stick you finger in my hands. Stick your hand in my side.”? How wonderful, when the world has given you nothing but darkness and pain, to gaze upon the risen Savior and know that it is all real?
I realized, as I prepared and preached and I walked the dog this morning, that I want to be Thomas. My soul wants to be able to doubt and then have Jesus actually stand before me and allow me to investigate his risen body to know that it is actually him, that he was raised from the dead, that it’s all real.
I think we often forget to acknowledge how hard it is to have faith, especially in something unseen. Thomas doubted and he spent three years living with, ministering with, and learning from Jesus, seeing the miracles and the proof of his divinity. Thomas doubted when there was no reason for him to doubt (and he was in good company as the other disciples doubted, as well).
Having faith is hard, especially when life is hard and you feel nothing but darkness. Thomas doubted because he was rightfully afraid and it made no sense. I doubt because I pray fervently and yet my prayers are often not answered in the way I want, and my life on this Earth is harder when my prayers were to make it easier.* We each have reason to doubt; it’s human.
How wonderful it would have been to be Thomas, to have our doubts completely wiped away by gazing upon the physically risen savior.
A bit more depressing than I had intended, but a good thought following my sermon yesterday.
I’ll link the YouTube video to the sermon when I get it edited and uploaded. FINALLY got it edited and uploaded. “How Wonderful is Faith.”
* Please read this in the general sense, not the specific sense; life is pretty good right now, and I’m looking forward to an unknown new chapter when that opportunity makes itself known and complete unfolds.