What can you do with the fact that in Christ, you have hope for today and everlasting life for eternity?
After Jesus arose from death in John 20:19-31, He went into a show-and-tell mode! He presented proof of who He is and what He came to do; He then told His followers to go and tell the Good News to others. The Bible describes their seeing Jesus resurrection for the first time as “rapturous!” Basically means very excited for who Christ is and what He has done for us, thus giving great joy and gratitude through our commitment to God and, in context, the courage to witness. This joy means our faith and fruit will overflow from us to others around us! This joy grows in us as we mature in the faith and as we are filled with His Word. It is also the power to enjoy Him in worship and as a lifestyle that will affect all aspects of our lives as well as that of others around us in His service and glory. Because of Christ, His Word will bring us joy. (Ruth 3:2-7; Isa. 9:3; Neh. 8:10; Eccl. 2:18; Matt. 24:21-22, 30; Luke 15:7-10, 32; 17:30; John 14:16-26; 16:12-15; 17:17; Acts 28:16-30; Rom. 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 7:29; 2 Cor. 2:15-16; 4:7-12; Eph. 1:13-14; 6:16; 4:30; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 3:15-16; James 1:2; 1 Pet. 5:8-9).
What does a life filled with joy and praise for Christ look like? What can you do to look to His guidance from His Word and Holy Spirit, and walk in Him?
The ultimate victory has come: Jesus is risen; He is risen indeed! Halleluiah! Christ’s agony and death are now turned into victory—our ultimate triumph! Do you fully realize what Jesus did for you? Christ took this punishment for us; our fears (as in scared to death, not fear as in reverence to Him) have been borne on the cross, while the fear and awe of our Lord and Savior helps us see what He did for us (Prov. 3:5)! Every time we sin, we incur greater guilt, and we deserve punishment (Gen. 3:1-24; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 2:1-11; 3:10-26; 5:12-19; Titus 1:15; James 1:12-15; 1 John 1:8-10). But, the incredible miracle here is that we are set free by His work on the cross, by His death and resurrection (Rom. 5:10; 6:22). We have salvation by Jesus’ sacrificial death (John 19:30). How now will you live your life?
Why did Thomas doubt? Perhaps the magnitude of Jesus’ resurrection was beyond comprehension; without seeing it for themselves, as Thomas asked for and received, many refused to believe. Others truly believed by faith and worshipped Him. Although we do not have physical sight of Jesus’ hands and feet, we do have the Spirit who reveals the truth to us. Jesus did not fit the expectations of the people, the religious leaders, or even the disciples. A total change in worldview had to occur before He could be fully accepted. We have to be careful we do not jump to conclusions with little more information than our feelings and a “sound bite.” Know this: our opponents will see our hypocrisy and lack of Fruit and faith (real or not) –over-compensation for a misguided theology out of the rubble of our pride or lack of explanation.
Thomas after getting his verification gave a clear and powerful climax and confession of faith that Jesus is Yahweh, Lord God, Creator of all things, and Sovereign Lord over all. He made the universe and He gets to run it, including you and me! This also refers to Jesus being fully God, Immanuel, which means “God is with us” (Ex. 15:11; Isa. 6:3; Matt. 1:23; John 1:1-7Rev. 1:6; 4:11; 19:10; 22:9).
Refusing to acknowledge or believe will cut one off from our Lord and the faith and love needed for living. It is God's role and work that are empowering and saving; we merely respond. Our faith is a response, not a work; we recognize Christ because He reveals Himself to us. All the blessings and wonders that we experience are in Christ and He gives us faith that we can turn into more faith by our commitment and obedience (John 3:30; Rom. 6:12; Gal. 2:20-21; Eph. 2:8-9; 5:15-17; Phil. 3:1-21; Col. 1: 3-6, 10-12, 15-29).
What can you do to live for Christ? What would that mean and look like? How now will you live your life?