“You’re all crazy! Grief has unhinged your minds! We saw Him hanging on that cross. You think the Romans have started botching their executions all of a sudden?”
Thomas wasn’t there when Jesus appeared to the other disciples. Understandably, though he was a little shaken up by their tales, he remained sceptical.
After all, if Jesus were really back from the dead, why didn’t they see Him all the time, like before? Why did He flit in and out like some sort of phantom, sometimes here, sometimes not?
“No, even if the rest of you are taking refuge in fantasy, I’m keeping my feet on the ground! Unless I can see the nail-prints in His hands and feet, and put my hand in His side, I’m not going to believe!”
Thomas probably isn’t quite that determined in his scepticism, but you know how it is. Disagreeing with a whole group of people who are all insisting that something is true can tend to entrench you in your opinion. You get more vehement in your opposition, even if you wouldn’t be quite so opposed if you sat down to think about it.
But as he is confidently proclaiming that Jesus can’t possibly be alive, there He is.
Thomas stops, aware that no-one is paying attention to him any more. He turns around, looks into the eyes of the risen Lord.
“Well, Thomas? You wanted to put your fingers in the nail marks? Here they are! Here is My side: put your hand in! Touch Me, put your hands on Me. I’m really here! Put away your doubts; you really can believe!”
Thomas’ response is immediate. He worships. “My Lord and my God!” No second-guessing Who Jesus is now. No “yes, He’s alive, but whether He’s God or not is another issue”. In one leap he moves beyond doubt into the certainty of faith, sure of so much more than merely that Jesus is alive.
“You believe because you have seen Me,” Jesus responds. “Blessed are those who do not see, and yet believe”.
Christ is risen…