Are you full of doubt?
Are you a pessimist like Thomas? Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? Thomas followed Jesus for only three short years. He had the courage to follow Jesus and yet he often had doubts about Jesus' ministry. When Jesus was notified about the death of his friend Lazarus, Thomas said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." Thomas could not imagine that Jesus would be of any help to Lazarus at this point - his words were oddly prophetic.
Not long after, Thomas felt that his world was crashing down around him. He sees Jesus arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Thomas manages to escape with his life as he quickly flees the garden. On the following Friday, Good Friday, Thomas watches from a distance as Jesus is nailed to a cross by the Romans, on the hill at Golgotha. Thomas loses all hope as he watches Jesus lose his life.
On Saturday, Thomas hides - he is so affected by the death of Jesus that he doesn't even join his friends on Sunday as they gather for an evening meal. The next day, the disciples searched for Thomas so that they could share the events of the night before.
"Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."
The disciples told Thomas that they had seen the Lord but with his usual pessimism, he said that he did not believe them. He stated that unless he could see the marks of the nails himself, and place his finger and hands in the marks on Jesus' hands and side, he would not believe them.
Several days later, Thomas was with the disciples as Jesus appeared again. Jesus told Thomas to put his finger on the wound, to look at his hands and to touch his side. He told him to believe! Thomas said, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus asked, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Doubting Thomas now believes, he falls to his feet stating what could possibly be the one of the greatest confessions of faith ever - he calls Jesus, "My Lord and my God!". Thomas is actually the first disciple to put into words that Jesus is both Lord and God.
Upon having his doubts erased, Thomas became one of the most outspoken advocates for the Lord. Traveling all over the world, Thomas, once an opinionated skeptic, carried God's message of love and forgiveness to the ends of the earth.
Many of us can relate to Thomas still today. Those that have had their dreams and hopes destroyed often find it hard to continue to believe in God, to trust Him. However, we should listen to the story of Doubting Thomas, to hear his fears and doubts. We need to embrace the end of his story - his overwhelming joy upon accepting the resurrection of Jesus. Thomas put aside his doubts and truly accepted Jesus as his Lord and God!
My Lord and My God!