Easter Sunday had me reflecting on a part of scripture that often gets overshadowed when we talk about the resurrection and the events that surrounded it. As I scrolled through my social media and listened to church service online and read in my daily devotional I kept seeing “He is risen!”. (Matthew 28:6). And while He IS Risen, indeed, that was not where the story ended. It was in the week after Jesus rose from the grave that really hits home with me.
When Jesus came back, almost all the twelve disciples saw Him. There was no doubt in their mind that Jesus had been resurrected. Thomas, however had not seen Jesus for himself at that point and what he was being told seemed too crazy to believe. Thomas needed some convincing. Thomas needed more than being told what to believe.
“One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” John 20:24-25.
Thomas reminds me of my husband. Although he was raised going to church and being taught about God, his faith was not one without doubt and questions. My husband was never quite able to fully surrender to Christ because of those doubts. He needed convincing. He needed to see God for himself, just like Thomas needed to see Jesus for himself. It truthfully was one of my biggest concerns when we were dating, that I was building a future with a man who had such little faith. It was so hard for me to understand the doubts that my husband expressed until I read about Thomas.
For those of us who believe without any doubt, it’s so easy to worship and praise the resurrection of Jesus. Our God is alive!! We have testimony of God at work in our lives as proof of that! But what about those who doubt? What about those who just aren’t sure? What about the ones who need to see to believe? If that’s you, it’s okay. If that’s your husband, it’s okay. Thomas, who knew and loved Jesus, still doubted His resurrection. Thomas, who knew and loved Jesus, needed proof. So, Jesus came to Thomas:
“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’.” John 20:26-27.
Jesus wants us to stop doubting and believe. Jesus gives us each the proof we need that He lives. That’s our testimony! If you haven’t experienced that yet, don’t lose hope. If you doubt even a little, don’t fear, faith the size of a mustard seed is still faith! (Matthew 17:20).
It’s okay to be like Thomas! Jesus will still show up! I’m thankful for the honesty in John about Thomas and his doubt. My own husband needed to be encouraged by Thomas and the scripture in John 20 is was what led him to take his first steps in fully giving his life to Christ a few years back, on Easter Sunday. Praise Jesus! I needed that same scripture to encourage me that my husband, doubt and all, still knows and loves Jesus.
It can be discouraging when everyone around you is so sure of something that you are struggling to believe. That’s why Thomas and his doubt are so important. That’s why Jesus saw that doubt and showed up to give Thomas his very own testimony that He truly had risen! Jesus is in the business showing up. So, if you’re sitting here today with doubt about how someone could rise from the dead, just ask God to show you how to stop doubting and believe. If you are a believing woman who is concerned for her husband’s faith, ask God to show your husband how to stop doubting and believe.
Even if the doors are locked, Jesus will find a way in.