First, let’s not forget what happened in John 19. Let your imagination take you to this place. As one of the spectators, or as a believer…watching as Jesus is put to death. It appears that everything may have been a lie, devastation, fear for the believers. For the spectators, surely the sky turned dark and the earth shook as God the Father turned his face away from HIS only son as HE took on our sin…the wrath of God was being satisfied. The word spread quickly that the curtain in the temple seperating the commoner from the Holy of Holies was ripped from the top down. As a mortal person, if in that time and place, I would have thought that God had left us. As I thought about that, I wonder if the enemy did a dance and thought he had won the battle too. I wonder if he screamed in terror as Jesus rose from the dead…
As you read John 20, remember these are people who have just gone through the worst nightmare, and the reality of it was they would not be waking up from it.
The female in me loves that Jesus appeared to a woman first, at a time when women really didn’t have any clout or standing. That fact alone is very sweet to me. (v. 15-17)
Go quickly and see the disciples who managed to stay together, yet locked themselves in a room. Oh I can just about feel their brokenness. Enter Jesus, no knock on the door, no key to open it, just walked right into the room..Appeared. (v. 19-23 ) Jesus told them “Peace be with you”, and told them “as the Father has sent me, I send you”, and HE breathed on them and said “recieve the Holy Spirit”. None of the things I read while studying this mentioned how they responded…Shock is a good possiblity since they had been through so much.
Jesus returns to the room at a different time, 8 days later..back in the room, door locked still…a lock door always speaks fear to me. And this time HE seeks out Thomas who is in unbelief. (before we start to throw anything at Thomas, remember what he has been through, and how much less we have been through and still unbelief sets in) Jesus showed compassion and patience with Thomas (this does my heart good), and while speaking to Thomas, HE spoke a message for you. Incredible huh?
26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus is the only ONE to ever raise from the dead, there are no other gods in all the world that people bow to who are alive! And at the most crucial moment in showing himself risen to the disciples, HE mentioned you and I..”Blessed are those who believe and have not seen”
“up from the grave he arose,
with a mighty triumph o’er his foe…
lives forever with his saints to reign..
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah Christ arose” AMEN?
(don’t forget to go check out the others in the Blogging Bible Study this week..I am excited to see what they write for this chapter , so much to dig in to! )