If there is anyone in the gospels that most modern people feel they can relate to it is Thomas. Some of us, like Thomas, feel we need empirical evidence to be able to believe in Jesus’ resurrection. Others of us simply know what it is like to place conditions on God: “Unless … I will never believe.” But this story is given to us not so that we can relate to Thomas’ doubts, but to his faith. Come this Sunday and find out how Jesus challenges our objections and shows us how those objections are overcome.
There are two ways to look at the world, through faith and superstition, or through the rigors of logic, observation, and evidence—in other words through reason.
All doubts, however skeptical and cynical they seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt Belief A except from a position of faith in Belief B.… Every doubt, therefore, is based on a leap of faith.
1 Peter 1:3-27
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time[a]the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[a] 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.”
26 Eight 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.” 27 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
CONFESSION OF SIN
Almighty God, in raising Jesus from the grave, you shattered the power of sin and death.
Yet we confess that we still live in doubt and fear, participating in behavioral patterns that lead to death.
We often overlook the poor and the hungry and pass by those who mourn;
We can be deaf to the cries of the oppressed and indifferent to calls for peace;
We despise the weak and abuse the earth you made.
Forgive us, God of mercy.
Help us to trust your power to change our lives and make us new,
that we may know the joy of life abundant through Jesus Christ, the risen Lord.
SONG TO CONSIDER