The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 3: Thomas – Unless I SEE The Nail Prints… I Will NOT Believe It
he evidence is overwhelming!
“Jesus has risen from the dead!” “Yeah, right!” Was Thomas the inspiration for the Tui ads, I wonder?
This is the ‘bit’ we all know about Thomas. First of all, he was absent that day Jesus came and revealed Himself to His disciples in all His resurrection glory. No, Thomas was missing. Where was he, I wonder? Was he having his own ‘pity-party’? Was he hiding like the others had, but on his own because he couldn’t understand all that had taken place and he just had to get away on his own to try and process it and see if he could make any sense of it at all? Whatever the reason, Thomas missed it and missed out!
Jesus had come – Jesus had proved to the others that He was alive. Oh, yes we criticise Thomas for unbelief – but weren’t the others just as doubting when the women told them that they had seen Jesus? Not so vocal perhaps, but just as faithless! Now they were the privileged believers and Thomas the only doubter. But is doubt a sin? Isn’t honest doubting a prudent emotion? Shouldn’t there be evidence for our faith? If our faith is based upon mere speculation, myth or some other irrational, ethereal mysticism, we become gullible and open to all sorts of superstitious nonsense.
No! Thomas proves for us that Christianity can weather doubt! It is open to examination. It is NOT just a moral code or set of impossible rules. It is based upon a person and its foundation is fact. As all honest doubters who have bothered to examine the evidence have found – Jesus Christ lived, was crucified, died, was buried AND ROSE AGAIN. The historical evidence is there open for all to explore.
If I may remind you again – If Jesus didn’t bodily rise from the dead – where is His body? The embittered Jewish Leaders never found it. The barbaric riot subduing Romans never produced it. Both of those groups would have done everything within their powers to do so as it would have been the simplest way of ending those Christian lies! But they never could – because the Body was gone! Yes, but not stolen – resurrected – and went around alive for 6 weeks before departing for Heaven. Yes, there were many eye-witnesses – even 500 all at the same time!
Thomas would say to us today...
Expose your doubts – be honest about them. But then make a good hard open-minded look at the evidence and you will find, just as I did, that the evidence stacks up. “I saw the nail prints, I saw the wound in His side from the spear – they were real, they were fatal. BUT I saw Jesus alive, in the flesh – resurrected from the dead.” And so you don’t need to doubt any longer. Take my word for it – because I’ll stake my life and reputation on it!
Father, thank You that You allow for my doubts and questions. Thank You that our faith is based upon historical fact and not some wishful thinking. Help me to be bolder in my witness for You, knowing that my faith has a firm foundation and the evidence does indeed stack up for those open to see it. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8 & 50-58; Colossians 1:1-15; 2 Peter 1:12-21.
Why is it so important that Jesus was actually crucified?
Why is it important that Jesus rose bodily from the dead and grave?
What difference is the resurrection of Jesus making in your lifestyle this year?