Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:24-31
I get Thomas. The stakes are just too high. The death was just too real. The disappointment was just too great. The news was just too unbelievable. Never mind the disciples were all in agreement. Don’t mention that the women were insistent. Forget the fact that Jesus had told his followers – including Thomas – that he was going to rise from the dead. Sometimes the reality of the experience is so powerfully impressed on our hearts that we simply must ask for proof when we are told that the story has taken a different turn.
But the tide has turned. The story has taken a decided twist for the better. Jesus is really alive, and Thomas will be graced with a command performance of his Lord and God. Jesus will invite Thomas to reach into his side, and see the nail prints. Make no mistake: Jesus is alive. Don’t be disappointed. Do not despair.
This fact is beyond mere reality. Jesus’ resurrection is the stuff of faith. It doesn’t take faith to say there was a man named Jesus of Nazareth who lived, taught, gained a following, and was sentenced to death on a cross. These are mere historical facts. But to believe that this same Jesus rose from the dead requires faith.
You’re not seeing a ghost. Your mind is not playing tricks on you. This isn’t just wishful thinking. But that requires faith. So John tells us: “These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
We don’t have the same opportunity that Thomas did to put our hands into Jesus’ side. But we do have the witness of Thomas and all the others. Jesus is alive. He has risen from the dead. This is God’s gift, and Jesus’ resurrection is testimony that he is the Son of God. So I get Thomas, for in the end I too am willing to say of Jesus: “My Lord and my God.”