copyright 2007 by lawngren
Why do you call me “Doubter”? I never doubted. I knew that our Lord was dead.
You are the ones who doubted the reality that you had seen with your own eyes. Denying reality is stupid. You asked me to be stupid, too, and were offended when I refused. How dare you question my faith! Since when do beautiful fables create reality?
You should be glad that I, alone, of all of us, refused to allow my mind to become drunken with women’s dreams. You believed without evidence, concerning the ultimate reality of life: death. You went chasing impossible hopes (so we thought), on the word of women alone, and found what? An empty tomb. So what? Did it never enter your feeble minds that there might be an explanation other than resurrection? Of course not! You all immediately became as foolish as old women, repeating the women’s report among yourselves – “maybe” – “could it be?” – “perhaps” – with, I repeat, no evidence.
I was the one who forced you to face reality, harsh as it was. I was the only logical mind among us all. When you offered me your childish dreams, I replied, “Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails, and put my finger into the marks, and put my hand into the wound in His side, I will not believe.” I ask you, what could be more reasonable? What could be more logical? After all, if the Lord was alive, could we not then see Him, touch Him, as one could any living man? Did we not see and touch Him before the evil day?
When the unbelievable happened, and – Glory to God in the highest! – against all reasonable expectation, the Lord Jesus appeared among us, inside a locked room no less – unworthy though we are! – what did I say? Bear witness, slanderers! What did I say? Without the least hesitation I said, “My Lord and My God!” I immediately acknowledged reality. Never did I give in to wishful thinking, to unsubstantiated reports from questionable sources. Therefore my witness is stronger than all of yours. Thomas, it will be said, refused to give in to his emotions – and how I wished with all my heart that our Lord could be resurrected! How my own heart was torn as by wild beasts, by the brutal and emphatically final end our Lord suffered! How I wept for the immeasurable loss we and our nation had suffered! Ah, I was in agony as much as any of you! Never have I felt such crushing grief!
You feared my realism, because in your hearts you feared that your hopes were only a dream. Your faith was not strong enough to endure another’s “doubt”. You feared to face your own doubt. Having had hope torn away once, you were terrified that it might again prove to be an illusion, so you called me “Doubter” to hide your own doubts. To silence me, lest in my words you hear the secret thoughts of your own unbelieving hearts. Your faith was so battered that, for a while at least, it needed a safe harbor wherein to hide from the storms of reality, even if that harbor was a fable.
I alone remained a man in my mind, though I wondered from moment to moment if the terrible grief would destroy my reason. I was not cold and heartless! I ached, I suffered, I groaned, I wept, just as you did! And no one, I say it again, no one rejoiced more than I did to find that it was real! Jesus our Lord really had been raised from the dead! Hallelujah! Hosanna in the highest! Praise be to The All-Powerful One! Glory to God!
Something happened inside me that day. A fountain of joy burst forth in my soul. Some nights I can’t sleep for joy! My wife says that I laugh in my sleep. I can’t stop singing. Even when my body is exhausted, I find myself smiling. I can’t stop telling people that Jesus of Nazareth really is – not “was” – the Prince of Peace. And that He is going to return! May the Most High speed the day!
I know that our public witness about our Lord Jesus will bring about our deaths, but who cares anymore? We know now that death is an impostor. We know that those who believe in Israel’s Messiah will live again. Die? How? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has given us eternal life in Paradise and a pardon for all our sins!
As the prophets promised,
“The people that walk in darkness have seen a great light! They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, the light has shone upon them…for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…”
And you call me “Doubter”.