Second Sunday of Easter | April 28, 2019
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 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. 27 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!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
John 20:19-31 New Living Translation (NLT)
50 days…we are now in the season of Easter. So often we think of Easter as a single day, but Easter is a season – it’s a season that we prepared for in Lent – while Lent focused on Christ’s suffering, Easter’s focus is on resurrection and new life.
This morning’s gospel reading comes from John and is set on Sunday evening of the resurrection and eight days later. Jesus appears to the disciples on Sunday evening. The doors are locked for fear of reprisal from the Jewish leaders. Into this fear, Jesus steps in and says, “Peace be with you.” I suppose you could also say…as we have heard many times…”Do not be afraid.” Jesus has now revealed himself to the disciples – and not only promises the Holy Spirit, but breathes on them. He also reminds them that they are sent just as Jesus was sent by the Father.
However, one of the disciples was missing from this meeting – Thomas. He was not convinced that Jesus was resurrected – and it takes another week for Thomas to resolve this conflict…but Jesus finally appears to Thomas along with the others – and again Jesus says, “Peace be with you!”
Jesus is not afraid of our questions – he told Thomas to check it out and Thomas in amazement cries out, “My Lord and my God!” We know Jesus’ words here, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” This is you and me – and countless other Christ followers who have never seen the resurrected Christ in person. It is a reminder that we walk by faith and not by sight. What does it look like to be in awe of the resurrected Jesus? When we remember his death and resurrection…we can ask the question, “Is He worthy?” Yes, he is…and when we realize that…we can be like Thomas and exclaim, “My Lord and My God!