By Randy Ballinger
“But [Thomas] said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it’” (John 20:25).
Thomas could not believe Jesus was alive after being crucified—it simply was too much to ask. The reports of a few people saying they had seen Jesus was insufficient proof. Only after seeing the living and breathing Jesus of Nazareth with his own eyes would Thomas be willing to believe.
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:26-27).
Finally, with his own eyes, Thomas saw the marks of the nails in Jesus’ hands and the wound in his side. With his own ears, he heard words of encouragement from his Master.
Thomas’s response was a declaration of worship: “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28).
Today, we don’t have the advantage of seeing Jesus’ resurrected body. But that’s OK, because Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29). We are blessed today because we trust the testimony of the hundreds of people who did see Jesus alive after his death.
John was among those who saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion and resurrection. Decades later, when he was anticipating Jesus’ second coming, John wrote, “We will be like him, for we will see him as he really is” (1 John 3:2, New Living Translation; author’s emphasis).
No, we don’t see Jesus today, but we will one day. And when you do see Jesus face-to-face, “as he really is,” what will be your declaration of worship?
Will you be in awe of his power and authority and cry out as did Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”?
Will you express gratitude for his grace and proclaim him, “My Savior and my Redeemer!”?
Will you reveal your relationship with him and identify him as “my Friend and my Companion!”?
Will you simply be left speechless in the presence of Jesus?
The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians that “whenever you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
As we gather around the table, we not only commemorate, we also anticipate!
Randy Ballinger lives with his wife, Gina Ann, near New Paris, Ohio, and serves as an elder with the Centerville (Indiana) Christian Church.