Stop doubting and believe

There are times when we are reminded that we are mortal. Recently my wife and I attended the funeral of a friend who was younger than us. We reflected on the fact that none of us knows how long we will live. If we receive a serious diagnosis of heart disease or cancer, the end of our life comes immediately to mind. In such situations doctors are often asked, “How long have I got?” Such times may also make us think about life after death. Where will we spend eternity? Are we ready to face God’s judgement? Do evil people who die “get away with it?” Does death pay all debts? Is there really a place where God’s people “rest in peace” and live with him for ever in heaven?

Jesus often told his disciples that he would suffer and be killed and on the third day he would rise from the dead. By his death, he paid the price of our sins. He was “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” By his resurrection he triumphed over death and his resurrection was not an isolated event. His resurrection gives a certain hope to all who commit their eternal future to him. By his death and resurrection, Jesus “destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” This is good news for people like us as we prepare to face our death. The victory Jesus won was on our behalf and opens the way to life and immortality.

Yet people ask, “Is this really true?” The first disciples of Jesus also struggled with doubts, especially Thomas. When Jesus first appeared to the other disciples, Thomas wasn’t there. When they told him, “We have seen the Lord”, Thomas said, “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.” A week later Jesus appeared to his disciples again and Thomas was with them. Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 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.” Like Thomas we, too, can overcome our doubts and confess Jesus as our Lord and our God knowing that whenever our life ends, we will go to be with him in heaven.

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