These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life. John 20:31

“These things” refers to the many things Jesus said and did, as witnessed and recorded by his apostles. Having heard the witness of the other apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead, Thomas disbelieved the resurrection of Jesus demanding physical proof.  His experience taught him that Jesus was crucified, and for him, that trumped the witness of the apostles.

Today many rely on their experience for the truth.  And like Thomas, they allow their experience to trump the apostolic witness of the New Testament.  Even though witnesses claim to have seen the resurrected Jesus numerous times in groups as large as 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6), still, experience teaches many today that Christ cannot be risen. Perhaps it is one’s experience with the unchristian behavior or Christians. Or maybe it is one’s daily experience of survival of the fittest that leads them to adopt a hopeless worldview with no room for a resurrection. For others it is a television show or book that questions the credibility of the New Testament witness.  And for too many it is their heart wrenching experience of death that teaches them to disbelieve the resurrection of Jesus.

But remember this: Thomas’ disbelief didn’t put Jesus back in the grave. While Thomas doubted, Jesus lived. It may seem like a simple point, but take a moment to consider that Jesus’ resurrection is not dependent on the belief or experience of anyone.  Thomas’ disbelief could not bury Jesus, and Jesus did not leave Thomas to bury himself in disbelief. In his all surpassing love Jesus demonstrated that he is not just the Lord who came out of the tomb, but he is the Lord who comes into the room.  He enters the room to raise Thomas above his disbelief so that he can believe and live.

Today you may have experienced something that causes you to disbelieve the resurrection. Like Thomas it may have been a very persuasive experience. However, the truth remains that Christ is risen. Having left the tomb he demonstrates his love as he enters the room to strengthen his peoples’ faith through his word and sacraments. Yes, Jesus intends to raise you above disbelief for these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life.

Have a great day in the Lord!

first published at on 5/28/2010