He was terrified. Overwhelmed with grief and guilt. Fear will do that to us. His light had gone out and darkness had him in its steel-like grip. Someone once noted that fear is just False Evidence that Appears Real. But even if it isn’t real, it can pack a punch that will floor us.
We could say that Thomas should have known better, but we have been there and done that. He was there when Jesus stilled the storm, fed thousands with a little boy’s lunch, healed the blind and lame, and even raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus had shown him a new reality that could be. But right now, those memories are overpowered by the “reality” of the power wielded by the Jews and the Romans that looks so much stronger. He ran away when Jesus was arrested because he feared his own arrest. If they could falsely accuse him, and torture him, and crucify him, what might they do to Thomas? Now 10 of his best friends want him to believe that what he fears is but an illusion. Jesus is alive, even though he was dead. And he wants to see Thomas. Really? Thomas doesn’t think so, nor does he believe so. In spite of his doubts, they meet; and fear melts away as faith is rebirthed.
Faith is not just a feeling. It is a willingness to embark on a sacred journey full of Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him. Thomas left that night free of his fear and spent the rest of his life helping others discover how to live with, and for, Jesus. We will never have that touching moment Thomas had with Jesus, but he was told that our faith would be every bit as strong. When we let Jesus dispel our fear and turn it into faith, we enter a new reality. I had a very good friend die this week. I can’t think of a better time to die than in the season of Easter. He was blind, but now he sees. He struggled with his illnesses, but now is free of pain. The resurrection promise tells us that this is not the end, but a new beginning. Let’s cast aside our fears this Easter and let faith lead us into the future. Pass it on.