Proof of Resurrection

22 Apr

Perhaps you noticed that I did not talk about the entire passage for this coming Sunday in yesterday’s blog. It is a long passage with a lot going on, so I decided to break it up into pieces, as I will for the reading on Sunday morning.

John is the latest gospel written. The author has a lot of agenda he needs to get through to the Christians of his community. Probably more than any other gospel, it was written to a specific community of faith for specific reasons. One of the realities that the gospel writer is dealing with is that no one he is writing to knew Jesus of Nazareth or saw the resurrected Jesus. So, you get a passage like these verses in Chapter 20.

24-25 But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.”

But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”

27 Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”

28 Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”

29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”

Doubting Thomas has gotten a lot of press throughout Christian history, but I think the whole story is written for the punch line; “29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” The Gospel writer is telling his community, and us, that we need to believe without proof and we will find blessings given to us.

I often imagine the frustration of these early Christian communities who were convinced that Jesus, the Christ was coming right back in glory to ‘fix’ everything that had been left undone. Such as their oppression under Roman rule. The house of Israel was to be the big power in the land with Christ on the throne to insure its dominance. But, instead to get Jesus of Nazareth with a very different agenda.

Since we have always understood that we have to behind in the Christ without the benefit of seeing him during his life, earthly or resurrected, what does this passage say to us. There are many who want proof to believe in God and the work God did through Jesus. And where does that leave us? Those of us who believe??

I wonder if we are the one who are to be the living proof of the transformation power of the resurrection. We don’t need the proof, but we are the proof. Have you been convincing that your life is empower by the Divine; by a different set of energy and agenda than the world clings to? I believe that if we empty ourselves before God as Jesus did, be willing to surrender ourselves, we can be raised with Christ, transformed to be living proof to the power and love of a God who dwells among us.

Well, that an easy assignment, don’t you think. . . Perhaps not easy, but it is a worthy goal of a life time. Maybe we can add to the gospel’s God-revealing.

Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.

Peace

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