Pastor's Corner - April 9th, 2021
We're now 2 weeks out of the Passover, 14 days since the evening which Christ met with His disciples in the upper room of a home in Jerusalem and instructed them in what was to come. After the events in the garden, His disciples staggered a bit. Mourning over the loss of their teacher and friend - they forsook Him and went back to their daily business, likely trying to make sense of what had happened.
They returned to what was normal, and settled back into their routine uncertain of the next steps. Christ was resurrected, and appeared several times to His disciples. One - notably 8 days after his resurrection, just a few days ago in our timeline, took place with the disciples and Thomas gathered.
8 days prior - Christ appeared to the disciples, without Thomas, and they were convinced of His resurrection. They told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, and Thomas didn't believe them. He famously said, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
This resulted in Thomas receiving the nickname, "Doubting Thomas", his desire to see the physical proof feeding his doubt of the risen Christ.
On the evening of His second appearance to them, Thomas included, Christ appeared within the room they were in, with the doors shut - just arriving in their midst, and said "Peace be with you!" Looking right at Thomas - he told Him to reach his finger to the spots on His hands, and to reach his hand and put it into His side.
The account is found in John 20:19-29.
Christ followed through with Thomas and said, "Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
Thomas understood and declared, "My Lord, and my God!"
Christ's response is critical, not just for Thomas - thousands of years ago, but for us too as we come out of the events of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
"Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed."
How often do we require some sort of proof before we're willing to believe. Some smoking gun so to speak that illustrates that what God has promised us is true? I'm guilty of this, as I'm sure we all have been to some degree before. We've all been Thomas at one time or another - hoping and desiring to believe, but perhaps not willing to accept it without the proof.
Peter wrote in 1st Peter 1:6-9, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls."
The believers that Peter taught directly didn't have the option of seeing Christ directly - they had to take what Peter explained to them, the Hebrew scriptures they had access to and some of the early New Testament writings, and believe, similar to us, without seeing. To place their faith and their hope in the promises of God, not yet fulfilled in the face of incredible challenge.
Let us all endeavor to trust our God more fully. Let us pray to Him to strengthen our faith, to 'help our unbelief' and use this time as we count down the days to Pentecost, to strengthen the relationship with our Creator and continue to become more like our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ.
Happy Sabbath to you all!