Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When the Resurrected Jesus Becomes Real

"One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, 'We have seen the Lord!'

But he replied, 'I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.'

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. 'Peace be with you,' He said. Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!'

'My Lord and my God!' Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, 'You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.'”
John 20:24-29 NLT

Have you ever heard of the term, Doubting Thomas? It is usually in reference to someone that is skeptical. I was once like Thomas. I had heard about Jesus, eternal life and all that stuff. But Jesus wasn't real to me. Then one night after years of struggling with alcohol abuse, drugs, pornography, anger, and you name it--Jesus became real.

My wife and daughter were gone, my life was out of control. I called out to God in the middle of the night; "If you're real, you have to save me. Also, I want to be your friend." God answered my prayer that night. I wanted to know more about this "Jesus".

Thomas had a similar circumstance. His buddies had all seen the Resurrected Jesus. The Jesus that had promised eternal life, forgiveness of sins and strength by His Spirit. But Thomas hadn't. He had only seen the Executed Jesus--the Jesus hanging on the cross. So when Jesus revealed Himself to him, it was done tenderly--through love and patience. "Go ahead Thomas, feel My wounds."

Can't you see Thomas, with a trembling hand, reaching out, touching Jesus--apprehensive at first. Then circling Jesus, taking Him in, full of amazement. As the realization that this is Jesus registers, what emotion flooded his soul. I like to think of Jesus laughing and embracing Thomas as he realized, My Jesus IS real! The Resurrected Jesus IS real!

No anger from Jesus, just love. Everyday Jesus comes into our lives through any number of circumstances. He speaks peace into our lives. He gently and lovingly says, "Check Me out, I'm the real deal. These wounds are for you."

Is the resurrected Jesus real to you? Have you seen the scars? The eyes full of love? Have you declared; "My Lord and my God!"?

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