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Thursday, April 15, 2010

What happened to your hand?

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"The 'Show Me' Disciple"

"Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord!'  But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it.'  A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'  Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'"  (John 20:24-29).

Show me state tagI grew up in Missouri, which is known as the "Show Me State".  On occasion or in certain circumstances I find myself skeptical and want proof before I accept something as true.  I sometimes jokingly ask, "What state did Thomas come from?" Of course, people are perplexed, but I respond to my own question by answering, "He must have been from Missouri since he essentially said 'Show me'."

Thomas is nicknamed "Doubting Thomas" based on today's Scripture portion, but in reality Thomas was an earnest seeker as evidenced  by the fact that he was with the disciples a week after Resurrection Sunday and "God is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

"Though the doors were locked Jesus came and stood among them."  Jesus suddenly  appeared in bodily form and gave the disciples a word of needed assurance, "Peace be with you!" before turning His attention to Thomas.

Jesus was aware of Thomas' request for evidence, either having been informed by one of the other disciples or more likely by supernatural knowledge.  He met Thomas at his point of need.

Believing Thomas
"Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." I don't see any evidence in the text that Thomas actually exercised this offer to physically examine the signature bodily evidence on the resurrected Christ. However, some interpretive art does indicate this.  But Thomas saw the powerful visual evidence and it was sufficient. He emphatically responded, "My Lord and my God!"

When our daughter Ester was little, like many children, she was intrigued by boo-boo's and even more so due to her many "boo-boo's" from her frequent heart procedures and surgeries.  If anyone was wearing a band-aid she would go right up to them and ask, "What happened?"  This could sometimes be quite embarrassing when she'd approach a total stranger or if the injury was one that people would rather not call attention to!

What happened to your hand?
She had a shirt she loved to wear with a very special picture on it.  It showed a concerned little girl looking up to Jesus, whose nail-pierced hand was stretched out to her.  With inquisitive eyes she asked, "What happened to your hand?"

I had Ester wear this shirt when we had a special ministry opportunity in a nursing home and was able to illustrate my sermon by having her greet each resident and show them her shirt! Brooksyne thinks we may still have that shirt in a childhood sentimental collection!

Indeed, the nail-pierced hands of our Lord are a lasting reminder of the price paid for our redemption.  Following the inquiry of Thomas in our daily verse Jesus was quite ready to provide him with this stunning evidence of His death and resurrection.

On another occasion Jesus was recognized following the resurrection when He opened His hands to break bread with two of His disciples (Luke 24:35).

In our daily text Jesus gives a wonderful word of blessed assurance to all who would believe without the benefit of being an eyewitness in subsequent generations: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."  I believe today!

Yes, I'm headed for a home built by God alone.

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
I am where the only thing that's been made by man
Are the scars in the hands of Jesus.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we consider the greatest proof of genuine love is when one lays down his life for another. We are grateful recipients of Christ's substitutionary death for us - the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Thank You for proving Your genuine love as You endured the greatest test of love and presented the greatest gift to humankind - forgiveness for our sins. We're eternally grateful and, though we have not seen, by faith we do believe. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"My Savior's Love"  Video

"By The Mark"  Video

"I Shall Know Him"  Video

"The Scars In The Hands Of Jesus"  Video

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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