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We win!
April 26, 2010
by Pastor Dan Swanson, First Baptist Church, Cokato

One of my favorite Bible passages is that which describes the resurrection appearance of Jesus to Thomas.

Some places call the Sunday following Easter, Thomas Sunday. Thomas had not been present Easter Sunday night in the upper room; so he heard the good news from the other disciples. Some call him “doubting” Thomas because his reply to the other disciples is classic, but honest: “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe!” (John 20:25)

Thomas simply gives expression to something important. Who ever saw the dead rise again? Isn’t it true that when you’re dead, you’re dead? I have to say that Thomas has the kind of honest questions that are still around today. Some things that happen are too good to be true, and sometimes they aren’t true.

But a week later, Thomas was with the other disciples and Jesus showed up. He came, in my opinion, primarily for Thomas. Not in confrontation, because His words to them are, “Peace be with you all.” (John 20:26)

Jesus said to Thomas, “Look, check me out, reach your finger here to my hands; reach your hand out and put it into my sides! Don’t be unbelieving, but believing!” (John 20:27)

When Jesus comes to show Himself to Thomas, it is not confrontation so much as it is revelation. Jesus had a job for Thomas and the others. “Be my witnesses to the entire world.” (Acts 1:8) Thomas could not do that without believing, having faith. So Jesus came to him.

Thomas responded when he saw the evidence, “My Lord and my God.” His faith came alive that evening. All his honest questions were answered.

Thomas eventually went to India, where the people say there are millions of gods (little “g”). He was eventually killed there for telling them they were wrong.

There is only one way to eternity, that is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, have you believed? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed!” (John 20:29) My hope is that as you read this, you will understand and experience “the blessedness” of 21st century faith in Jesus’ resurrection, and that you see that His resurrection gives us our only hope as we face the certainty of our own death.

Because Jesus is alive forevermore, there is hope for those of us who believe without seeing, based on the eyewitness testimony of those who for 40 days saw him alive from the dead, never to die again. There is a lot at stake!

I write this because Jesus has a job for us, too! We are to tell the world about our Savior, who was killed, but defeated death by rising from the dead.

He is the winner. We who are blessed to believe, win because of Him.