On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. 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.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to 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 into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
I have to admit, it’s a lot easier to believe something if we are a witness and see it with our own eyes. It’s harder to believe when we don’t see and have to rely on people who witnessed what happened. This is like Accountability 101 – you get as many witnesses to an incident as you can and then try to calibrate the different versions to what seems to make the most sense. But, even then, sometimes we just can’t believe the story. That was the case with St. Thomas – he just couldn’t Believe the 10+ Witnesses in the upper room had seen Jesus return from the dead – he needed to see Him with his own eyes. What often gets missed in this story is that when Jesus first walks into the Apostles’ presence, He showed them His hands and His side. If a dead guy walked into your kitchen, why would you need to see his cause of death? Wouldn’t his presence be enough? But, the Truth is that we are all like the Jews 40 years later in the wilderness with Moses. We can get lazy in our thinking. We sometimes let parts of our Faith dull over time. The Jews with Moses wanted to go back to Egypt to a “known” way of living. They were uncomfortable with the “unknown” that lay ahead of them. It’s the same for many of us and it was the same for many of the Disciples of Jesus. But, Jesus made it clear that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that all Roads to Heaven go through Him. And, He used the most extreme display ever witnessed by man to make sure that we didn’t forget it – even 2,000+ years later. We have the manger Birth, the 40 days of starvation in the desert, the floggings, the scourging, the crucifixion, a global earthquake, a blood red moon, and, eventually, His Encore Performance during the 40 days of Pentecost. Jesus’ return was so Prophetic and dramatic that It changed His-story forever. All of these Things are well-documented – both in the Religious and secular worlds. We are to Trust Jesus in the Great “Unknown” that awaits us. If you need Witnesses beyond historians, the Apostles, etc., look at all of the documented stories of near-death experiences (NDEs) around the world. In the end, the best Witness lies right inside of our hearts. Our Souls “Power” our bodies and give us life. Just look into your own hearts to find all of the Evidence you’ll really ever need.