"Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
I don't know what they expected me to say. He had been with us for the past three years and now He was gone. I was hurt, angry, confused and just about beside myself with grief. I really thought his teaching and his work were going to make a difference, but now he was dead! Honestly, I think I felt a little bit betrayed. He was dead and we were still here. We still had to live in this world dominated by an ungodly entity, the Romans. Even our own people seemed to have forgotten who God really was. They had reduced His holiness to list of dos and don'ts.
When I met Jesus, it was as if a window had opened in a cold, dark room letting in the sounds and smells of spring. When he taught, he made me feel as if I could see more clearly. He made everything in creation come into glorious focus. The sky was more blue. The bird song was more beautiful. I can't really explain it, but that is how he made me feel.
It wasn't long before his teaching and miracles caught the attention of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. At first I was excited. I thought they, too, were listening to the Teacher with open ears. I hoped that perhaps our Master's words would bring new life to the old ways. After all, he knew the scriptures. He taught from them himself. It wasn't long before I saw a change in our religious leaders. They became fearful, angry and then hateful. They wanted to get rid of him....and they did.
So, you see, when the others came to me a few days after he had been buried, saying they saw him, I seriously thought they had all gone mad. I found myself almost wishing that I had gone mad as well. I wasn't with them in the house, when Jesus supposedly came and stood in their midst. I had gone on an errand that night. I don't know why things work out the way they do. There can be a lot of "if only's" when things play out differently. But, I do know now, that God has it all figured out. Good thing, too, since we so often make a mess of things.
It was about a week later and we were all together in that same house. Sharing a meal, talking about our fondest memories of him and wondering what was next for all of us. All of a sudden, there he was! There was no knock on the door. In fact I had been lounging on a pillow at the low table facing the door. It was closed. I can't explain it. He wasn't there and then he was!
"Peace be with you."
Those words! How they calmed my troubled and aching heart. Then he spoke directly to me. His voice was all at once gentle and kind, yet so knowingly disappointed.
“Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
I realized with perfect clarity my doubt became my shame. I fell at his feet. How could I stand in the face of such holy and faultless love?
"My Lord and my God!"
In that moment I realized that Jesus was, not only my Teacher and Master, but my Lord and He was God....no doubts! Unfortunately, I lived the rest of my life being known as the doubter. Even after I was dead and gone, Doubt is a paralyzing thing. I promised myself when I was at his feet that day, I would never doubt again, at least not him. How could I doubt the one who saved me?
How can you?
Quotes are taken from John 20 (NASB).