Resurrection Doubt And the Mission of God
We took a look at the Resurrection of Jesus from John 20:1-29, and looked at how the disciple's doubt can help us with our own, and also saw that the Resurrection story is not about us, or even of being saved, but a far larger mission that God has for His people.
The incredulity of the Resurrection is erased in the minds of Jesus’ disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit and testimony of ‘Eyewitnesses’ to this historical reality
Paul himself understood the incredulity of the cross and Jesus' resurrection, because people in his time also struggled to believe in such a crazy notion.
- 1 Corinthians 15:17 – “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins"
- 1 Corinthians 1:20-24 – “20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God”
There are many reasons people don't believe, and they're not all due to superior reason. We often doubt God because He didn't come through the way we thought He would or should. Thomas was no different. His hopes and dreams of a powerful Israel once again were dashed on that tree in Zion 2000 years ago. He saw his 'savior' destroyed by religious hypocrisy and governmental power.
So when his friends and colleagues came to him with a crazy notion that that since His body is gone it must have resurrected from the dead, there was no way he was going to get his hopes up once again; there would be no way he was willing to believe, until he saw and touched his friend Jesus once again.
But according to our story, that's exactly what happened! The historically risen, physical body of Jesus appeared before Him and Thomas acted quickly and swiftly in proclaiming that Jesus was his "Lord and God!"
Why did he drop his condition to "Touch" Jesus? Most likely because when he saw Jesus standing before him, he finally realized that what looked hopeless had come to fruition in the death of Jesus. Jesus' death didn't make Israel great again, but it did save his soul from eternal damnation!
Very often our hopes are dashed and our faith shipwrecked, because what we believed about Jesus was proven false, but it is only when we truly understand the veracity of the eyewitnesses, and the power of the Gospel, that we are truly able to stand with Jesus and His followers in the Church, and say as Thomas did, "My Lord and my God!"
What's interesting in this text, is that Jesus tells Mary not to 'Touch" (Literally 'Cling' to Him), and yet He invites touches when He's with the disciples. Why is that? While there are a few possibilities, the most coherent answer within the context had little to do with touch, and more to preparing His followers that the relationship with Him was changing. There would be no time to hug Him personally any more (Which was what He had been teaching them all along (See specifically John 15-16), and His followers job was now to "Go and tell..." which Mary did, and Jesus confirmed with His disciples that they now, were being sent, like He was sent from His Father (John 20:21).
The resurrection didn’t happen so that we could be "Saved," but that we could be on mission with God in a healed relationship for His glory, and our joy!
He is Risen Indeed, so, 'Go Tell!!"