The Disciples See the Resurrected Christ
Open Your Bible
Luke 24:33-49, John 20:24-28, 1 Peter 1:3-12
The tomb was empty. It was another mysterious blow after the traumatic events that had transpired in the days beforehand. Mary wept, and the disciples hid. Yet, Jesus began showing up and revealing Himself.
Enthusiastic news spread and eventually reached Thomas. You might have heard of him as Doubting Thomas, but this nickname may not fully convey how he felt. Maybe He was deeply disillusioned and in pain during this time, and his broken heart and weary eyes were suddenly bombarded by his friends’ ecstatic testimonies—they kept declaring how they had seen the Lord.
But Thomas (called “Twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were telling him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”
Was that a tingle of hope that he felt just then? No. Thomas refused to believe. His words were, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe” (v.25).
The imagery in Thomas’s emphatic words reveal how much Jesus’s crucifixion affected him. When Jesus appeared, He met Thomas right where he was in need. It’s striking the way Jesus approached him. He word-for-word addressed Thomas’s remarks by saying, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe” (v.27).
This meeting occurred a week after Thomas’s remarks. Still, it was as if Jesus had been right there to hear the words Himself. Thomas wasn’t just seeing a man appear before him; he was encountering God—the God that knew his doubts, heard his words, and still showed up to help him in his unbelief. How could Thomas respond other than by saying, “My Lord and my God!” (v.28)?
The faithlessness that Jesus was challenging in Thomas was not his inability to believe, but rather his unwillingness. You see, there was proof—the empty tomb and trusted eyewitness accounts. Further, Thomas already knew that Jesus could raise people from the dead. Believing in Jesus during our darkest hours acknowledges our disappointments while also gazing at the evidence of His goodness in our lives. It’s choosing to say that although believing may be difficult because of the storm, you are still willing. Today, may we be encouraged by the words of Peter in 1 Peter 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”