The Resurrection and Apostle Thomas
The Bible holds out as an essential doctrine the resurrection of Jesus. The accounts of his resurrection have been recorded so that our faith in this all important doctrine may be based on sound evidence and not on credulity. Our Lord took great care to demonstrate to the apostles that he had risen from the dead, as we are told in Acts 1:3, “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days...”
One such instance is recorded in John 20:26-29. The apostle Thomas, present on this occasion, had not been with the other disciples a week earlier on the Sunday of our Lord’s resurrection when he appeared to them. (John 20:19-24) Thomas did not believe the testimony of the others when they told him that they had seen the Lord alive. Thomas said “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)
Thomas required more evidence than the others to be convinced. Jesus gave Thomas what he needed to remove his doubts and convince him that he was indeed alive. Jesus did not appear to Thomas and the others in his human body. He appeared on this occasion in a materialized body in the likeness of his crucified human body. The apostle Paul tells us that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:50) He appeared in other forms on other occasions. He appeared to Mary as a gardener (John 20:11-16) and she recognized him only after he said her name in the old familiar tone. He appeared as a stranger to two of the disciples on their way to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13-31) They finally recognized him when he blessed and broke bread. In these and other appearances, our Lord not only convinced the disciples that he was no longer dead, but that he was now a spirit being and no longer human. The man Christ Jesus died to give himself a ransom for all. (1 Timothy 2:5, 6)
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” It is required now that those who would be footsteps followers of the Master shall walk by faith and not by sight. God has caused these eyewitness testimonies of the resurrection of Jesus to be recorded so that his followers may believe based on convincing evidence. As surely as Jesus was raised from the dead, so surely shall he and his faithful Church soon begin the blessing of all the families of the earth!
Reprinted by permission of Connellsville Bible Students