Gospel of John 20: 19-20, 24-27 (NIV)
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 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!” 27 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.”
Are you totally convinced that Jesus Christ was crucified, died, was buried, was raised from death and has ascended to be with God the Father in glory? If you believe that with all of your heart, you will have no reason to doubt anything that Jesus taught during his time on earth or any of his claims about himself such as, “I and the Father are one” (John 10: 30) and “No-one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6).
If you are not fully convinced that Jesus was raised from death and ascended to be with the Father, what do you need to overcome any lingering doubt and to believe? What evidence would convince you? What additional eyewitness account do you need in order to believe that Jesus is not only Son of God but, that with the Father and the Holy Spirit, he is God?
Jesus told a parable about a poor man, Lazarus, who begged at a rich man’s gate. The rich man ignored him. Lazarus died and was taken to be by Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was tormented in hell. In his agony the rich man asked that Lazarus be permitted to bring him a drop of water. The reply: “Impossible!” The rich man then pleaded that Lazarus be permitted to return to his father’s house to warn his five brothers of the consequences of their selfish lifestyles. He pleaded, “if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.” In the parable, Abraham replied to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16: 31).
Jesus has risen from the dead. The evidence exists; it is sufficient to convince millions across the millennia that Jesus is who he claimed to be. Yet there are also millions for whom belief in a risen Christ is difficult and perhaps too inconvenient. Belief demands a response. It demands changes of attitude and changed lives. It demands, instead of selfishness, selfless obedience to the Creator of the universe.
Is your obedience to him total and unconditional? If not, do you have a sound reason why you consider it acceptable to disobey? Permission to exercise your individual free will is permission to choose hell with the rich man of the parable or to choose faith in and obedience to the one whom God has sent, Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
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: 28-29).