Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve but believe.” John 20:27 ESV
According to the website L-Tron; photographic evidence that is admissible in court includes, “relevancy, accuracy, authenticity and originality. ” That means showing the time, date and location of the image. Some say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but my recent project has made me realize how temporary pictures are. Over the last month I have worked my way through thousands of family photographs in an effort to restore and preserve them in digital format before they are lost forever to darkening, fading and falling apart. I see the young faces of my parents and grandparents and snapshots of our children at play, and it reminds me of how quickly things change.
The Apostle Thomas had some doubts about the reliability of the eyewitness testimony of His friends. Thomas asked for something more reliable. He didn’t want just words. He demanded to be able to touch the Lord’s wounds for himself before he would believe. Maybe Thomas worried that his friends were just imagining things in their grief or that they had invented a story in order to offer false comfort. People over the ages call him “Doubting Thomas” as if he were different or that the others had never doubted. But the truth is that the only thing separating Thomas from the other guys on that room was experience. He had faithfully followed Jesus just as they had for three years. He had seen Jesus multiply bread, walk on water and wash their feet in the upper room. In fact, the only detail that separated Thomas from his friends was that he had missed being with them when Jesus first appeared.
Are you looking for something substantial to base your faith in this morning? Are you wondering like Thomas why others seem to have a vital link to the Savior, and you feel disconnected? You are in good company. Peter doubted, when he denied Jesus and again when he heard the women report they had seen the Lord. James and John doubted it was Jesus when they saw Him walking on the water and again at HIs first resurrection appearance until Jesus started eating some bread and fish! We all have our doubts, but the good news is that we have a Savior who knows our doubts, loves us anyway and comes to each of us in different ways. He may walk alongside of you while you are grieving or appear at dawn after a long sleepless night of fruitless fishing. He may look like the gardener or appear in a dream while you are in a storm. He knows that we need evidence even more reliable than even photographs. He loves us and comes to show us His wounds, when we need Him most. But Jesus also challenges us to choose to hold on to faith and to let go of doubts. We can’t hold onto both. Yes, Thomas doubted for a moment, but He spent the rest of His life believing and even dying for His Lord. Don’t give up if you find yourself struggling with your faith. Just remember that doubts are only temporary, but faith in Jesus is forever!