Good Shepherd Lutheran

Because He’s Risen – John 20:19-31
In case you missed the big message from Easter, here it is. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and when He rose again on the third day, He defeated death for Himself and for all of us.
That was hard for Thomas to accept. It’s even harder for us to accept. We live in a culture that wants physical proof. We want forensic evidence. We want the coroner’s report. We need something tangible to touch and see in order to believe. But knowing by faith that Jesus did these things is what gives us life. As it says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
We all know the story of Doubting Thomas. He was the disciple who refused to believe in the resurrection of Jesus until he could see Jesus for himself and put his fingers into His wounds. But John ends the story of Thomas by telling us that he wrote his gospel to help our unbelief. He said, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
John knew that people who hadn’t seen Jesus would have doubts and questions. After all, they’d never had the opportunity to see the miracles, or hear Jesus preach. So, John wrote everything down so that people who had not been witnesses could come to know Jesus and could believe and have eternal life in Him.
That’s the tough part for many of us today. We can’t see Jesus. We can’t touch His hands or His feet. We can’t put our fingers into the marks from the nails or the wound in His side. That makes it hard to accept that He really died and was raised from the dead. Even the disciples had a hard time believing it at first. But they had an advantage that we don’t because He appeared to them and showed them the proof. He showed them His feet, His hands, and His side. And when He did, they believed. They believed that He truly was who He said He was. He was the Son of God.
But we weren’t there, so we rely on the accounts of those who were. We must depend on their testimony. Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” And John tells us that those who do believe, even without seeing, will have life in Jesus’ name.
We each have to find our own way to be certain of what we hope for. Certain that Jesus truly died on the cross for our sins, and certain that He opened the way for us to be with Him and the Father and to have eternal life.
Because Jesus is risen, we have that hope. Thank goodness He’s risen indeed!