When Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning, His body was restored and glorified. Yet some scars of His suffering remained. I’ve often wondered about that, but as is always the case, there was a reason for the remnants of His suffering . Every whip lash was closed. Each hole pierced into His precious head was healed. The bruising no longer appeared, but the disfigurement from the spikes that cut deeply into His flesh – the wounded side from the sword of the Roman soldier, were still visible.
We all face times in our lives when doubt creeps in and we question our beliefs. Usually this happens when we’re at a low point in our lives. When we’re young and trying to decide our course for life or when we’re old and facing the inevitability of death – when debts mount up and we wonder where our help lies – we go through a period of questioning.
Thomas, the disciple of Jesus, was like us. He had questions throughout the time of Jesus’ ministry. For example at the Last Supper, he asked Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way.” It had to be so confusing for the followers of Jesus. They’d marveled at His teachings – they were stirred to action – they believed He had come to save the world. Yet, when everything fell apart – when the soldiers entered Gethsemane with their swords drawn – when everyone scattered – when Jesus was arrested and put on trial – when the nails pierced His body and when He finally died – there had to be a total confusion to those He left behind.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection, Thomas wasn’t there. He lacked the faith to believe it was true. He needed proof. Those scars were the proof – not only for Thomas, but for all humanity to know that Jesus actually did suffer, die, lay dead in the grave and was restored to perfection on Easter morning. The scars validated the work He had accomplished for all humanity. He suffered and died so we wouldn’t have to.
We don’t know much about Thomas other than that he was a fisherman and a Galilean. He also went on to build churches in the middle east. His mission extended as far as China. Along with most of Christ’s original twelve, he suffered the death of a martyr. The power of that proof undoubtedly helped him to do amazing things for God’s kingdom.
We are so much like Thomas. We want to have proof. We wonder and question and can easily be tempted not to believe what we cannot see. Yet that is exactly what faith means. When Thomas placed his hand in the Savior’s wounds, he knew, without a doubt, that this truly was God in the flesh. He said, “My Lord and my God!
Because we haven’t seen Jesus, it’s natural for us to doubt at times, but Jesus also talked about us in the Bible when He said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We have the evidence of Jesus’ existence in the written Word of God.
Dear, Lord, Jesus, there are times when I doubt – when fears assail me, when things aren’t going well in my life, when all seems hopeless. Keep me grounded in your word, because there I will find the truth – The Bible is your voice, your truth and your proof. Thank you for loving me enough to give your life for me. Amen!