Then 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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:27-28)
Thomas knew about death. As the saying goes, “death is a part of life.” Thomas (like you and me) attended funerals, heard the sad news of an acquaintance’s death, and maybe even saw someone die. When we hear of someone’s death, we’re sad…but it’s not shocking. We don’t doubt it. We don’t demand proof. We simply accept it.
But Resurrection is an entirely different matter. There is no common saying “Resurrection is just a part of life.” We don’t attend Resurrection parties for our friends; nobody hears of an acquaintance rising from the dead, nobody ever saw a dead person get up and start doing regular, normal live-person things. To hear of such a thing is confusing…shocking…something that demands proof. And so, Thomas demands proof.
No matter that Thomas knows of three people who Jesus raised. The 12-year-old daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow at Nain, and Lazarus were all raised and Thomas knew about it. But Jesus raising from the dead? This was too incredible for Thomas to believe. Thomas could not wrap his mind around such a thing.
And so, in his love, Jesus comes to Thomas to give him the proof that he needs. Jesus overcomes the natural limitations of Thomas’ mind and shows him the mark of the nails and spear. Jesus approaches Thomas and speaks to him. He allows Thomas to touch his physical body and his wounds. Later, Jesus would eat a meal in front of Thomas—something dead people have a very tough time doing.
Jesus demonstrated his Resurrection to Thomas and calls those blessed, who believe without examining wounds or plates of food. Jesus comes to Thomas to reveal the truth of his Resurrection, and the Holy Spirit comes to you to do the same thing.
The Holy Spirit comes to you by the Word and the Sacraments to show you that Jesus is God who really, physically died on the cross…and who really, physically rose again from the dead. The Holy Spirit gives you faith and teaches you that you receive the riches of Jesus’ Resurrection. The Holy Spirit fills you with wisdom that supersedes the intelligence and experiences of Thomas.
Jesus loved Thomas and didn’t want him to be ignorant of the greatest, most blessed event in the history of the world. Jesus also loves you and so he sends the Holy Spirit to you so that you would know, believe, and take joy in the blessed Resurrection of your Lord.
Almighty God, through your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, you overcame death and opened to us the magnitude of everlasting life. We humbly pray that we may live before you in righteousness and purity forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.