Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-13; Luke 24:1-43; John 20:1-29
The culmination of all of these days leading up to Resurrection Sunday should result in the unfettered release of all our built up anticipation. This is the day that we really rejoice because without the resurrection, there would be no hope for eternity. Christ had to die to pay the penalty for our sins, but this alone does not deal with the inevitable outcome of our mortal bodies that we will also eventually die. Jesus, by His own power, rose up from the grave, conquered death, and is sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This is the culmination of the gospel, the good news that we can be restored, not back to the Garden of Eden, but to a greater and eternal Kingdom where we are made joint heirs with Christ to rule and reign with Him forever.
The account of Jesus’ resurrection should bolster our faith as we think of the many eye witness accounts of the risen Christ. Even the story of Thomas’ encounter with the resurrected Lord should encourage us. After many, including all of the other ten apostles, had seen Jesus alive, Thomas is adamant that he will not believe until he sees with his own eyes and touches Jesus with his own hands. When Jesus enters the room where they were all waiting, He is gentle with Thomas and makes this grand proclamation, knowing that He is about to return to heaven, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
It is easy for us to judge Thomas, just as we have judged the rest of the disciples and everyone else that seemed to miss the plain teachings of Jesus, but we have to realize the real struggle that we all have in coming to faith. Paul tells us in the epistle to the Romans that we actively, ‘suppress the truth’ even when it is plainly manifested in front of us. (Romans 1:19) Pilate used a clever dodge when he asked Jesus a very philosophical question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) Truth was standing right in front of him and he could not acknowledge it.
Let us take today, to not only rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus and all that it means for those of us who have faith in Christ, but also to thank God that He has given sight to our blind eyes and life to our dead spirit so that we might see and believe in the way, the truth, and the life.