Wednesday, June 3, 2009

John, chapter 20

The empty tomb. As I mentioned yesterday, without it, our faith is nothing. Without it, we have no mediator between us and God. The empty tomb symbolizes our sole hope in this world that there is something more. It is the promise of eternal life if we believe in Christ. Even now, when I am racked with anxiety so badly that I cannot sit still, I think of the promise of the empty tomb and it gives me a measure of peace.

24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he 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."

26A 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!" 27Then 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."

28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" – John 20:24-28

Don’t we all feel a bit like Thomas when times are tough? In this moment, Thomas was likely very upset because of Jesus’ death. As one of the Twelve, Thomas was one of Jesus’ most loyal followers. He had to be questioning why he had followed Christ and what he was going to do now. He may even been angry and a little bitter, thinking he had wasted the last few years of his life following Jesus.

I think this is how we all feel when life doesn’t work out the way we have it planned. Though Jesus has a great plan in store for us, sometimes we don’t see it. I know I can vouch for this. It has been four and a half years since I last had a permanent job, and many temporary positions I have taken seem like a waste of time. Sometimes I wonder if God is even listening, and I have my “until I see the marks in His hands” moments. This is where we need Jesus’ peace even more than normal. He has promised never to forsake us or turn away from us if we believe in Him. That promise is as good as the empty tomb.

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