Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: My Lord and My God
By Ernest Yoder
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Thomas stumbled out of the room and into the street. It was night and Jerusalem was quiet after a busy first day of the week. As far as the public was concerned it had been a normal first day. Shops had opened and people were selling their wares and going about their business.
On the other hand perhaps the day would better be described as mostly normal. If anything was abnormal, it was the strange story about the Nazarene that was floating around town. He had been crucified and buried on the day before the Sabbath. Now reports were circulating that His body had disappeared. There was even a wild claim that He had risen from the dead. People who were not closely associated with the Nazarene dismissed the latter claim as preposterous.
But Thomas was not among those not closely associated with the Nazarene. He had walked and talked with Him for nigh onto three years. His life had been entwined around the mission of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene. The disarray of the last couple of days only added to the confusion of his mind. And tonight’s event did not leave him feeling any better.
All day long reports of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead had been simmering. Thomas had spoken to Peter and John. They had come around to a cautious belief that He indeed had risen from the dead. He had heard some of the women in their company affirm that they had seen the risen Lord. But what had happened that evening was very unnerving for Thomas. The Lord had appeared to the other disciples, or so they said, and Thomas was not present. If there was any time that Thomas felt out of the loop and alone it was on that evening. He had even made it a point to state that if he did not see Jesus’ nail prints and place his hand in Jesus’ side he would not believe.
“If Jesus was alive why did He not reveal Himself to me too?” went through Thomas’ mind over and over.
The next week had gone by during which time Thomas’ mind would not let him rest. And now the disciples were together in the same house again, this time with Thomas present. The doors were locked just as they had been a week earlier. Thomas could not help but feel excluded. The others attempted to assuage his feeling of betrayal. He sat by himself not knowing how to join the conversation.
“I’ll believe once I see,” said Thomas quietly under his breath.
Barely had he spoken when in a flash Jesus was standing in their midst. He declared peace to all. Then without any further ado He advanced directly to Thomas. He looked him gently but firmly in the eyes. Holding out His hands and baring His side He challenged Thomas to see and feel His wounds. Thomas could do nothing but rise on trembling knees, mouth agape, speechless, and eyes staring with wild wonderment. The seconds ticked by.
“My – my Lord and my God,” was all he could finally stammer out. He sincerely meant what he said with all his heart and then some. In those fleeting seconds and with those five brief words he surrendered every doubt without reservation. The undeniable fact of the Resurrection instantly transformed his life and attitude.
Then Jesus took this opportunity to say these telling words. “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed.” (NIV)
These words of Jesus have been a source of great encouragement for the many millions who, since that time, did not actually physically see the risen Lord but who can believe with utter assurance in His conquest of death. How often was Thomas, in the ensuing days and years, able to declare the fact of the resurrection to any doubters he was preaching to? We can safely conclude “My risen Lord and my God” was powerfully projected in Thomas’ preaching. No doubt his surrendered life persuaded many other lives to also surrender.
Rendered from John 20:24-29
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