What would it take for you to believe that something you were sure was dead, done, and finished - is, in fact, resurrected in a new form, full of possibility, and ushering in a new life beyond what you could ask or imagine. Is it difficult for you to even imagine such a drastic change in perspective? I can relate! My Dad insists my first words were, "Prove it!" I dismiss secondhand accounts and have probing questions for those claiming firsthand knowledge about things. I want to know that what I believe is true.
This Easter Sunday, during the sermon, as I listened to Jason read the scripture about Jesus' appearances after His resurrection, I was struck by what the people closest to him needed to believe, and even more struck by how WILLING Jesus was to give them what they needed to believe.
John saw the evidence Jesus left behind - the empty tomb with the linens lying there and the napkin that had covered Jesus’ face, folded - and believed. (John 20:8) - Peter was there too, but his belief or unbelief wasn’t recorded by John at that time. Mary Magdalene heard Jesus call her by name and believed (John 20:16). She had a short conversation with him, in her deepest grief, and didn't recognize who He was until He said her name; then she clung to Him. Peter, James, Andrew, Phillip, Bartholomew, Simon, Judas (not Iscariot), James (son of Alphaeus), and Matthew experienced Jesus miraculous appearance in their locked hiding place and saw his wounds from the crucifixion, and believed before receiving the Holy Spirit. (John 20:19-20)
Thomas was told about Jesus' resurrection by the Spirit-filled disciples, but couldn't imagine sincerely believing unless he saw and touched Jesus’ wounds for himself. Then he experienced His miraculous appearance in a locked room and Jesus offered him what he thought he would need to believe (told him to touch his wounds) and he believed. The scripture doesn't say that Thomas actually touched Jesus - it appears that it was enough that Jesus already knew what He would need. As if when Thomas heard Jesus speak aloud the cry of his heart, he recognized Jesus' understanding of him (His KNOWING him) as the greatest evidence of all - and believed.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BELIEVE?
"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 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 20:30–31)
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!