Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So 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.”
26 A 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!” 27 Then 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.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
All the other disciples had already had Jesus appear to them. He had invited them to touch His wounds and to receive the peace and joy through realizing that He was alive. Thomas missed it! The others would have been so excited to tell him what happened…I can imagine that they were interrupting each other all over the place.
Thomas such an inspiration. He will not have second hand faith. He isn’t going to believe because all his buddies do. He isn’t going to go by what they saw. Jesus honours Thomas’ tenacity and invites him to touch the same wounds that the others touched the week before.
I think about how it is seeing Christ’s wounds that causes them to know it is really Jesus and He is alive. The ancient prophet, Isaiah, promised us something more through Christ's wounds: By His wounds we are healed. Oh, the beautiful wounds of Jesus.
Henry Nouwen asks, “How are we healed of our wounding memories? We are healed first of all by letting them be available, by leading them out of the corner of forgetfulness, and by remembering them as part of our life stories. He goes on to exhort us to allow Christ to connect our pains with the pain of all humanity, the pain that Christ took upon Himself and transformed. By His wounds we are healed. We bring our wounds and allow the Spirit to unite them to the wounds of Christ that He may glorify them and transform them into loving union and a shared resurrection.
Optional: Listen to this beautiful rendition of The Easter Hallelujah: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEufdZrW0ss By Cassandra and Callahan
Prayer Exercise: Imagine Jesus coming to you. He holds his hands out to you to see and to touch. You put your hands in His and feel the warmth permeate your own hands. He offers the wound in His side. Maybe you can’t bring yourself to put your finger into it, maybe you can. It’s then that you look down at His wounded feet. There is no way to touch those wounds except to lower yourself to the ground. Once you are at His feet, you do not want to get up. You are wrapped in the mystery of Christ’s wounds and His resurrection. You are filled with wonder. Should you kiss His feet? All the things you want to understand pale in comparison to these moments. The wounds of your soul are hushed and the Spirit gathers them to Jesus. From this place worship spills out wordlessly.
On behalf of Jesus
These wounds aren’t just to prove I am alive to you. They are for your healing. I take you as my brother, my sister – and bring you to our Father through these wounds. We know all the places you need to be healed – places that are buried deep inside. My Father is now your Father, my God is now your God. All that we have is yours. All the love, the power, the grace, the forgiveness that you will ever need is yours now. My wounds of love are full of mystery but full of provision. I want you to see them. I want you to ask your questions and seek answers straight from me. I commend you on being determined to know me for yourself. So come. Let my wounds be like the linen wrappings I shed off of my body when I rose again, wrapping around your woundedness, binding you to me. Receive your own revelation.
I invite you to use Thomas’ words of worship and faith: “My Lord and my God!” Stay in the silence and repeat this out loud as many times as you are led.
Photo by Mads Schmidt Rasmussen-Unsplashed