Our scripture this week is John 20:19-31.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now Thomas (also known as 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.” 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.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Jesus appeared several times to His disciples according to the Gospel accounts. It was important they know the truth of the resurrection in order to faithfully share the Good News with the world. Now it was up to them to carry on the ministry Jesus had begun.
We remember their joy at seeing Him again, knowing that He had accomplished what He promised. He asked them all to make the same promise to Him and to each other, that the truth of God’s love would be shared with all the world. When they said “yes Lord” the promise was confirmed and their way was set.
Every Easter reminds us of His sacrifice for us, but also the faith He has in us to continue His work here on earth. His love and trust empower us to be disciples just as the first twelve that He called. We have the same charge He gave them – “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Jesus calls us each by name to go out in His name, proclaiming that the kingdom of God has come near.
Loving Lord, we are amazed at the gift You gave and humbled that You ask us to be part of Your plan. Make us brave enough to go where we are needed and kind enough to heal the wounds of Your people. Amen.