“Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’” (John 20:24-25)
Thomas was skeptical about the news of Christ’s resurrection. Thomas was not readily convinced by his fellow disciples that Jesus rose from the dead. He demanded concrete proof. He said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20:25).
I actually admire the honesty and firmness of Thomas. In actuality, we are like him. We as a society go by the motto – “to see is to believe.” We want and demand evidence. In this case, Thomas wanted to “see” firsthand the evidences of the risen Lord Jesus before he will believe. Skeptics even in our present time continue to question or reject the validity of the resurrection of Christ.
Interestingly, during his earthly ministry, Christ would not typically give or show a sign to those who have chosen to reject him (Matthew 12:38-40; 13:15; 16:1-4; Mark 8:11-13). Although there were instances when he demonstrated his power through miracles and healings before the unbelieving crowd in order to validate who he is as the Son of God (Ex. John 6:1-15; 9:35-41; 10:31-39), he generally revealed himself to his disciples (Matthew 14:22-33; 16:13-20; 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). I believe such was the case in Christ’s resurrection. Although the soldiers who were guarding the tomb were eyewitnesses, the religious leaders rejected the report, bribed them and instructed them to accuse the disciples of stealing the body of Christ (Matthew 28:11-15).
For this reason, I believe Christ did not appear to any of the religious leaders. In fact, the gospel writers report that Christ appeared only to His followers during His resurrection. He showed himself to Mary Magdalene and the women who were in the tomb (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 23:55-24:11; John 20:1-2, 11-18). Christ appeared to some disciples and walked with them at the road going to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). He showed himself to the disciples in a closed and private room (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23). He showed himself to more than five hundred people each of whom witnessed the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)!
Now to Thomas, Christ graciously gave the proof he demanded (John 20:24-29). Christ showed him his pierced hands and his side. After seeing with his own two eyes the risen Lord, Thomas one of the strongest expressions of faith and worship recorded in Scripture—“My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Then Jesus said something very profound, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
My friend, this great truth of the resurrection of Christ involves faith and doesn’t need to be proven by a camera or a video recorder. Biblical evidences as well as non-biblical evidences already point to the claim of a resurrected Christ. However, the Bible declares that “without faith it is impossible to please Him….” (Hebrews 11:6). Paul also wrote that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9-13).
I urge you to come and believe in the Son of God who became flesh and died on the cross for our sins. He was buried and rose again on the third day according to Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Christ’s resurrection not only demonstrated his power over death but also gives hope and victory to those who trust in him as Savior and Lord (1 Corinthians 15:50-58).