Sunday, April 11, 2010

Punk or Peace?


Second Sunday of Easter
John 20:19-31 (NRSV)

Beholding the wounds of the risen Christ

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 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 retain the sins of any, they are retained."

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me!

Doesn't today's scripture reading remind you of how much Jesus truly loves us?

We're not always at our best as human beings. Sometimes we allow fear to rule us. Sometimes we cower from the cruel words of others. Sometimes we are just weak and ineffectual.

At times we may wonder why God even bothers with us. I don't know about you, but there have been some days that I have been so ashamed of my unwillingness to boldly proclaim the resurrection of Jesus that I have wanted to crawl into a hole and "hide" from God!

But, rather than rebuking or shaming the disciples for acting like punks, Jesus walks into their locked room, offering the peace, purpose, and presence of the Holy Spirit!

Hey Glory!

Even when Thomas refused to initially believe, Jesus did what he had to do, to convince Thomas that he was the same Jesus who had died on the cross, but then resurrected on the third day!

Upon sticking his fingers into Jesus' wounds, Thomas said, "My Lord and My God!," to which Jesus responded, "
Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."

We are those blessed people! Although we have not met Jesus in flesh and blood, we know and believe that Love gave Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin and gift us with eternal life!

As Christians, we are offered the peace of God in the midst of difficult circumstances, the purpose of God that sends us to to proclaim the gospel always, and the presence of the Holy Spirit to make our work effective!

There is no reason for us to be afraid my friends! We have good news to share that is for all people! Let us boldly declare it, now and for eternity.


Let us pray:

Dear God, I know that I have often acted like "Doubting Thomas." I have put you to the test, time and time again. I am so sorry. Today, I know and believe with my whole heart that you died and rose again for me--and for all people. Please forgive me of my sin and fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I can share this good news with others! I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.


If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! Let me encourage you to tell a Christian friend that you just put all of your hope in Jesus. Ask him or her to help you find a Bible that is easy for you to understand and to find a good Bible believing church where you can be baptized and make new friends who will walk with you on your Christian journey!

I would be honored if you would let me know about your decision today by clicking "YES" in the poll located in the upper-right hand corner of the good news blog in answer to the question, "Did God save you today?"

Congratulations and Happy Re-birthday! Your salvation is our GOOD NEWS, please go and share the GOOD NEWS with others!

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