26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:26-31
It is Monday, the day after Easter, the day after Jesus rose from the dead, and, honestly, I’m feeling a little bleary eyed and restless. It is as if I do not know what to do with myself, you know? Yesterday was clearly about celebration and praising God and basking in the glow of the resurrected Christ.
I suppose I want to bask in that glow a little bit longer and as I’ve reflected on that through the day, it struck me. That is why Jesus ministered for only three of his 33 years on this earth; it’s about walking by faith, not by sight. And he needed to be available to everyone, not just to those who were in his immediate physical presence.
By his death, not only do I get forgiveness and grace and mercy and a new life, but I get Jesus. I get direct access to the Son of God who has always loved me, even from the beginning of time, but whom I could not know personally until the rescue plan was put into action and we all were once and for all reconciled to God.
And yet I find myself wanting to linger in the moment of Jesus’ resurrection and to marvel at his appearing to the ones he loved: Mary Magdalene, John, Peter, Thomas, the other disciples. Because I wonder at the fact that he was out and about in his dazzling white, white-like-lightening form, eating and visiting and walking with his disciples.
One Gospel account says it was eight days from the day he rose from the grave until he came into another locked room appearing before his disciples that this time included Thomas. Thomas who did not believe other 10 disciples that Jesus was alive and had appeared to them. Thomas who said he needed to see Jesus with his own eyes and put his own hands in the holes where Jesus’ hands and feet and side were pierced.
Did that feel like an eternity to Thomas?
What did he do to fill the time?
Did his doubt grow deeper as the days passed?
Did he go out and look for Jesus or did he just sit and wait and wonder?
Did he begin to grow restless or wonder if he’d missed out on something amazing?
Did he come to regret whatever it was he was doing while the rest of the disciples were gathered together in mourning and fear?
I have no idea what Thomas must have thought or wondered or felt. But I do know that he finally got his moment of truth and he believed.
And I also know that Jesus told me that day that I was blessed: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
Yes, I count myself blessed.
And yet, even so, I linger in the room where Jesus appeared and long for my opportunity to see him, to put my hands in the holes of his hand, his feet, his side. No, not exactly like Thomas did, but in the form of a definitive indication of what comes next in my life, in the form of a clear sign of my purpose. One that is as clear and obvious as putting my hands in the nail holes.
And that is the real reason that I don’t know what to do with myself today. I’m stalling. And I’m afraid. Yesterday I was content to celebrate Easter and to be in the presence of the risen Lord.
Well, today it is about heading out and doing, and that’s a pretty scary thing because there are so many things I don’t know and cannot see. Even so, it is about stepping out in spite of the fear. It is about stepping out and trusting God.
Because, without a doubt, that is really what faith is all about. Trusting him. Following him. Believing in him.
And I am blessed because I am one who has not seen and yet believe. I trust Jesus to lead me where I am going. Because that’s what it’s about for me. It’s about participating with Jesus. After all, he made himself available to me so that I can walk with him through each day. Each crazy, chaotic, creative day that is gifted to me so that I can bring him glory. So that I can live out the gospel and invite others to join me on that journey.
So, what are you doing today? Care to join me for a walk?