TITLE: Doubting Thomas
By Dr.Arsenio Esteras, Jr
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It happened that one of the Twelve, Thomas (the name means "Twin"), was absent when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him, "We have seen the Lord!" His answer was, "I will never believe it without probing the nail prints in his hands, without putting my fingers in the nail marks and my hand into his side."
A week later, the disciples were once again in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them. "Peace be with you." He said; then, to Thomas: "Take your finger and examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!" Thomas said in response,"My Lord and my God!" Jesus then said to him, "You became a believer because you saw me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed." (John 20: 24-29)
The highlight of the preceding gospel narrative from John the Beloved was the loving and beseeching confrontation initiated by the RESURRECTED CHRIST with the unbelieving apostle fondly dubbed by the Roman Catholic Church as the "doubting Thomas".
Thomas was one of the divinely privileged Twelve who witnessed astounding and spectacular out-of-this-world display of Godliness by the Son of Man throughout the duration of the public ministry of the Messiah from the changing of water into finest wine at the wedding feast in Galilee to the transubstantiation of the bread and wine to the body and blood of the Son of Man at the Last Supper during the feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. It bogs the mind why he had to demand for physical evidence from the Rabbi who personally chose him as His apostle just to dispel his unbelief.
Imagine this: The doubting apostle had walked side by side with the Rabbi who is GOD for three years and witnessed first hand the heavenly undertakings He performed on this damned penal colony and yet he foolishly remained obstinate in his unbelief even when his comrades, the ten of them, repeatedly and probably in unison too, told him straightforwardly that the Master is alive. The dead cannot come back body and soul. It never happened. Besides, the body of the Rabbi was mangled beyond recognition. It is impossible. Such thoughts may have been running in the scientific mind of Thomas the reason why He even demanded for physical evidence.
Recall that the "Twin"or "Didymus" was the same apostle who issued an ungentlemanly remark when the Son of Man instructed His apostles to accompany Him to the dead Lazarus to "wake him". Thomas said: "Let us go and die with him." Such unsolicited verbal reaction was tainted with sarcasm and rudeness unbecoming of a true apostle. Yet, it was not enough to evoke a stunning reaction from the Rabbi in the same magnitude as when the Rabbi addressed Peter, "Satan" when Peter objected openly to the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Thomas, in spite of his gangster mentality, went through the motions of accompanying the Rabbi and watched disbelieving the raising of Lazarus from its decomposing corpse. He did not intrude and did not prevent the Rabbi from doing what He must fulfill. The distasteful demeanor of Thomas, moreover, confirmed to all and sundry that he is, like no other human being, a descendant of Adam and Eve with all the imperfections and frailties of human nature that is evil from the start. Nonetheless, as long as the imperfections of the human being were not an impediment to the fulfillment of the Scriptures it would not require the wrath and scourge of His divine justice. What He cannot tolerate is the extreme opposition to His words that shall not pass away particularly His order that must be followed without question, without hesitation and in silence the way the virgin from Nazareth did, the way Joseph the Carpenter did, the way the Roman Centurion did, the way the Betrayer did.
"Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Well, it was His words in the beginning that created heaven and earth. He just has to say its banishment and it will certainly happen just as when He cursed the fruitless fig tree and it banished immediately after His holy utterance.
If the words of GOD will not pass away, the tongue that gave it wings will not pass away and the body from which the tongue is attached will surely not pass away. Therefore, GOD in the divine Person of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST never passed away. That is the logical and uncontestable truth though it is not believable among Christians worldwide by the way they profess their faith. They believed that GOD in the divine Person of the Rabbi died when there is no proof that He did so. The evidence contrary to it is overwhelming and irrefutable. His body did not decompose. It was not covered by the curse of natural death. Is there other kind of death that applies to GOD?
Thomas must have reasons why he demanded direct physical evidence over and above the hearsay evidence forwarded by all of His comrades. Following his line of thinking, the "Twin" appears fully convinced that the Rabbi who chose Him was just a man who cannot be more than a prophet who died from barbaric slaughter by the extreme ruthlessness of His executioners.
Because he was fully convinced that his Master died then He cannot be GOD. Besides, if He was the GOD of Abraham He would have annihilated His executioners in much the same way that He rained fire and sulfur upon the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah during Abraham's time or He could have turned them into salt in an instant just like Lot's wife for their extreme cruelty and callousness. Such hopeful expectations never materialized. His expectations were not without basis. He saw with his very eyes the out-of-this-world feats He effortlessly exhibited. He just made a decomposing corpse come back to life. Inexplicably though, He allowed Himself to be mercilessly mutilated and mangled in total helplessness that Thomas concluded that He was fluke of a GOD. He was a bogus GOD. If He were the GOD that He revealed Himself to be, He would have verbally hurled towards His executioners the very words He uttered towards the fruitless fig tree that withered instantly before the very eyes of His apostles. No such great expectation happened that made Thomas doubt the divinity of the Rabbi. What he expected to happen did not happen as expected. Ergo, the Rabbi cannot be GOD.
To Thomas, the Rabbi lost His credibility as GOD and that could be the reason he demanded physical evidence. What registered and prevailed in the heart and mind of Thomas was the incomprehensible helplessness and abandonment of self by the Rabbi to the power of wicked men and not the miraculous words and acts that He performed for the betterment of men that highlighted His Divinity. He had no crime. He would be justified in annihilating with an effortless whistle if He wanted too His beastly tormentors. Thomas gave premium to the terrestrial power of evil men and became deaf and forgetful of the words that will not pass away that came out from the mouth of the Son of Man that He repeatedly heard. He believed in what he saw against the Rabbi and not what he heard from His Rabbi that was why he demanded direct physical evidence before he can believe that the Rabbi is GOD and not just a ghost of a man who cannot be more than a prophet.
The RESURRECTED CHRIST appeared before him and his comrades in spite of the locked doors and windows of the apostles' enclave and lovingly gave in to his demand and ordered him not to persist in his unbelief. The RESURRECTED CHRIST did not only allow him to use his sense of sight to assuage his doubt. The risen Son of Man gave him the sole privilege that He did not give to any other person to touch the nail marks and the stab. Did not the Son of Man prevent Mary Magdalene to cling to her when He appeared before her near the tomb entrance? In effect, the Thomas dictum: "to see is to believe" GOD simply demolished. It can no longer be used as an alibi against the existence of GOD by today's all-knowing scientists and atheists.
Resurrection, in the context of the Sacred Scriptures, is the instant removal of the incalculable wounds of hatred and animosity (except the nail marks and the stab at the side) inflicted upon the sacred flesh of the Son of Man by OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST Himself. There was no death that occurred because as GOD He cannot be subject to the curse of natural death that He imposed at the beginning of time upon His most loved creatures that conspired and connived with His enemy. He just slept with the dead. On that basis there is no such thing as resurrection of the corpse of a human being. The dead body of a human being cannot resurrect itself unlike the divine body of the Rabbi that did not die. What OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST did to Lazarus was not resurrection. It was simply the restoration of natural life from natural death. The miraculous or supernatural act of Resurrection is exclusive to the divine Person of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST who is GOD. It was the final glorious act of His Godliness immediately after the accomplishment of His mission on this penal colony. It was the final exclamation point of His divinity in all its absolute glory that He showcased to humanity. It was the consummate coup de grace of GOD that He and only He can orchestrate into a symphony of eternal bliss. It was the master stroke of kingship in all its glory. No other person had done it. No other person can do it. No other person will be able to do it except Him who is GOD. It was not His Ascension that was the final glorious act because it was first done by Raphael in the olden times when the angel finished His mission of healing and assistance to the privileged family of Tobit (Tobit 12: 20). Tobit and Tobiah saw Raphael ascend to heaven by his lonesome. Rising of the human person from the dead to eternal life by GOD is the transformation of the human being to its original divine being sans the curse of natural death. It is not Resurrection. It was the same divine transformation of the virgin from Nazareth from a natural dying woman to a divine undying woman, the original state of Eve prior to her dubious downfall to a natural dying woman. That was the reason why the angel addressed her "blessed among women".
It must be emphasized and pondered upon that nobody except GOD can resurrect. All those human beings who died a natural death will never resurrect. Those who believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead body of a human being on the last day are totally misguided and fooled. It's a "consuelo de bobo" axiom made doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church propagated and professed by its faithful in the Apostle's Creed. It has no basis in Sacred Scriptures that the Son of Man fulfilled.
The day the human person breathe its last on this penal colony is its last day and it has no other last day after that because the dead person is no longer human. It has become timeless. It has entered a realm or dimension where time is no longer important. It has stopped being human. It can only be a divine person or a diabolic beast depending on how it lived its life on earth. Immediately after natural death, the person has been effectively dehumanized, that is, the body withers and the spirit that animated it is freed. The intellect and will joins the freed spirit and not the decomposing human body. The freed spirit or soul then becomes a dehumanized immortal being no longer subject to time but subject to the mercy and judgment of GOD.
When the resurrected Rabbi allowed doubting Thomas to touch and not just to see the nail marks and the stab, He confirmed that He was not a ghost whose flesh withered and mixed with the dust. He did not die a natural death. He was never human even for an instant. He is, was, and forever will be a Divinity and the highest of all. He never died!
Peace to everyone!
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