It’s the third day of the Resurrection which occurred on Sunday and the disciples of Jesus, Peter, John and the rest are giddy with glee that the risen Christ has appeared to them all. Mary Magdalene first to see Jesus is beside herself as are the other women, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, Salome and of course, Jesus’ mother Mary. There is an atmosphere of exhilaration that surrounds them whenever they see each other. Their hearts are filled with anticipation and wonder… wondering when they will see Jesus next and what this will all mean for them now that the Master has overcome the grave.
However there is a small cloud of gloom that hovers over the party. It’s when the disciple named Thomas comes into the room. You see the Lord did not appear to him on Sunday. Thomas was missing. Like the other disciples his world was shattered. He had invested himself 100% in Jesus as Messiah. But then Jesus was led out of Gethsemane under heavy guard, was rapidly tried and convicted. And then the death sentence and the crucifixion. Every hope and dream he could ever imagine came violently crashing down around him.
He was probably hiding out that day or getting drunk or doing something, anything, to get his mind off this greatest of tragedies.
Then Jesus, alive from the dead appears to all the disciples but him. Yes, it appears that he was the only one NOT to see Jesus. When Peter, John or Mary try to tell him about it he bitterly and even sarcastically rebuffs them.
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” John 20:24-25
It’s been two days. Things are not going good for him. Not at all.
But this “Thomas Doubt Affair” or “The Case of Doubting Thomas” will serve us generations to come. For Thomas is not an easy believer, no gullible superstitionist, no ignorant 1st century man who blindly follows along. He suspects that maybe they’ve all been drinking the kool-aid and he is not about to partake in any such tomfoolery. He needs answers, he needs more. He asks the hard questions for us. He represents the 21st century skeptic who must have more than possible mass hallucination as evidence.
But it won’t be easy. It’s been three days already and he’s growing a bit impatient with all this joyful celebration and unbridled happiness. Mad, they must all be mad. Mad as hatters. Little does he know what lies ahead in 5 more days.
(This is Part 1 of The Thomas Doubt Affair… check out Part 2 Day Six “Thomas, The Skeptic for Our Time” ) COMMENTS WELCOME!