Paul says I have decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and his death, and his burial, and his resurrection.

Everything is it pertains to the life I have been born into through that (Christ and the cross), is in that (Christ and the cross). It is not theology or your ideas about doing church or leadership, it is in nothing else, it is all in there (Christ and the cross). Everything Paul taught came out of there, Jesus death, burial and resurrection. Be slow to depart from Calvarys cross in pursuit of what you think it is all meant to be about.

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So Jesus is resurrected and He appears to Mary. Don't latch onto me He says, I have yet to ascend to my Father. But I need you to do something, go and tell my brothers that I am going to my Father and their Father, to my God and their God (John 20:17 paraphrased).

So, what was God under the old covenant has become new covenant Father. That changes everything.

So Mary does. And the disciples are all together hiding out in a room, which is all locked up. Judas isn't there obviously, and Thomas isn't there either. Jesus appears in his resurrected state. Peace, he says to them (John 20:19). Peace to all mankind (Rom. 5:1), but peace to you my brothers.

Jesus says, Look at this, He shows them His hands. Look, He shows them His side (John 20:20). They're blown away. Everything that Jesus had said to them, but it was veiled under the law, has now become real to them through the spirit on the other side of the cross. Thomas wasn't there. We don't know what Thomas was doing, the Bible doesn't tell us. But we're about to get a really good point out of it.

The disciples tell him, Thomas, we have seen the Lord! (John 20:24)

I don't believe it, Thomas says. I'm not going to believe it till I see the nail prints in the palm of his hands, and I feel them with my finger. Until I see the gaping wound in his side, and I put my hand in there, just to confirm and feel what my senses can see! (John 20:25 paraphrased)

Until Thomas could get a revelation, not just of Christ, but him crucified, he would have a flawed perspective of God. This is important. Those who live by their feelings have a tendency to judge God against their own condition. They see God as inconsistent and judgmental, they see God as mean and unforgiving, because we can be unforgiving, and so Thomass assessment needed to be corrected; amazingly, one of the disciples.

Jesus could have turned up and said, Thomas you doubting little scoundrel! Actually, he could have just left Thomas out of it altogether. This is grace being revealed.

The Bible says Jesus appears in the room (8 days later) and turns his attention towards Thomas. I want you to think about Thomas for a minute. Jesus presents himself to Thomas. Wow!

Look Thomas, as he reveals his hands. I can imagine Thomas jumping up, and he's looking at Jesus eye to eye. Jesus is in His resurrected state, no longer bound by the human condition he had to contend with for 33-and-a-half years.

Look Thomas! I can imagine Thomas cupping Jesus hands with his own. And he is seeing these nail prints in Jesus hands, and in the backdrop are his own hands, clean and untouched.

I can imagine his hands starting to tremble a bit, as it dawns on him, not so much the resurrected Christ, but the suffering Saviour. Jesus suffered for me. Thomas is fixed on Jesus.

He surveys Jesus side and sees the big gaping hole; large enough the Bible says to slip some fingers in there. Have you ever seen a wound on somebody, and that part of your own body has a nervous twitch, that could have been me!

I can imagine Thomas grabbing his own side; where the wound is in Jesus, Thomas side is whole. And I can imagine tears welling up in his eyes as he is starting to realise, and get the full comprehension of the revelation of the crucified Christ. He was witness to a lot of it but still didn't get it. The brutality. The finality.

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Posted in Churches/Faith/Religion Post Date 01/22/2017