Can you imagine what it would be like to watch your best friend being tortured to death? Nearly naked—missing most of his clothing and half his skin—humiliated, hated, abandoned, and alone. Picture the most loving person you know being thrown violently to the ground. Could you look on helplessly as his hands—those gentle, healing hands—have nails driven through them? Stand with the crowd, hear the labored beating of his heart above the shouts of ridicule that spring up and crackle in the face of a seemingly silent God. Listen to his loving last words, and feel the shudder of his final breath. It is finished.
Having witnessed the very heights of human brutality, having felt the strangle of fear and despair and loss, your friends seem to have gone mad. “We have seen the Lord!” they tell you. “His solid body radiated before us; His wounds were still open but no longer bleeding! He came in through locked doors saying, ‘Peace!'”
“Peace?” you think. “What peace? Peace fled on the night our Lord was taken from us! Peace, like everything else you just proclaimed, is impossible.” For peace of mind, you demand proof, but all the ten apostles have to offer is this testimony.
IN STEPS JESUS…
“Put your finger in this wound, put your hand in my side. Do not doubt, but believe.” You feel a sinking shame as the One Who Loves stands before you; not a ghost, not a hologram or hallucination, but a real person. My Lord and my God!
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe.
When non-believers test our faith, it is not our responsibility to convince them. We are not lawyers but witnesses, and our testimony alone will not be sufficient. Jesus’ job is to reveal Himself to His little ones, in His time. Our job is to voice our personal (and universal) Salvation Story, and wait for Jesus to write another, and another. The Disciples didn’t judge or abandon Thomas when he doubted. In fact, they may have been subjected to unnecessary concern, ridicule, and even anger. If the Apostles started to leave Thomas out for not believing, he would have missed out on encountering our Risen Lord (again)! Faith is the blessing of believing the impossible, even when your friends think you’ve lost your mind. It is daring to hope when you have every reason to submit to despair. Let us be patient with others and ourselves, knowing that the answers exist whether we know them or not.