Following the resurrection, Jesus appeared to many of his followers. The disciples, minus Thomas, were gathered in a locked room when Jesus “came and stood among them” (John 20:19). Later, when they ran into Thomas, their excitement was evident, “We have seen the Lord!”
People don’t rise from the dead, so it was understandable when Thomas challenged 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 20:25). Richard Dawkins, biologist, atheist, and author of “The God Delusion,” admires Thomas’s skepticism, “Science is based upon verifiable evidence. Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops. Why else would Christians wax critical of doubting Thomas? The other apostles are held up to us as exemplars of virtue because faith was enough for them. Doubting Thomas, on the other hand, required evidence.”
Eight days later, Jesus appeared again, and this time Thomas was in the room. Jesus 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” (John 20:27).
“Perhaps he should be the patron saint of scientists,” Richard Dawkins suggests. Fair enough, Patron of Scientists, Saint Thomas, who upon looking at the evidence, bowed and worshiped, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). No doubt.
Jesus, Son of Almighty God, Risen Lord and Savior, bearing the marks of the cross still. You bore the cross, the pain of death, and the greater pain of sin, so that I might be saved. When Thomas looked at Your hands, he did not simply see proof of who You were. He saw proof of what You bore, what you had done. For him. For me. For the whole world.
Jesus, You are God of all creation. When You paint a sunset, the right response is not mere belief, but worship. Thank You, Jesus, You are my Lord and my God. Thank You for giving me life and placing me in a world You created for us, for seeking after I lost You, for saving me, for loving me.