Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. – John 20:29
Thomas makes me feel better about me. He had a hard time believing that Jesus had been raised from the dead. I’m sure he wanted to believe it. There is no reason to think otherwise. Thomas may have been a born skeptic or fearful that his friends had fallen prey to some collective hallucination. But, it is hard not to be sympathetic to the one who earned his title, “Doubting Thomas.” I suspect there are many Christians who identify with him more than they care to admit. He makes me feel better because he seems so 21st-century, so like the rest of us.
Thomas makes me feel better because he understands that the resurrection really is a big deal. It is so improbable, unbelievable, and beautiful that it seemed too good to be true. Thomas knew belief in a resurrected Jesus would change everything and to believe in this resurrected Jesus was a risk. He risked embarrassment if he was wrong and, worse yet, he risked severe disappointment, the debilitating kind that people don’t bounce back from.
Jesus invites Thomas to touch his wounds. The text doesn’t say that Thomas did. I suspect he didn’t. It was enough to see Jesus’ face and hear his voice. Thomas, the doubter was now Thomas the loyal, Thomas the committed, Thomas the missionary, and Thomas the martyr. Thomas begins as Jesus biggest skeptic and ends as his loyal friend. Thomas reminds me that the resurrection changes everything.
We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.