27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas had been through a lot. Although he had been with Jesus since the beginning, Thomas was still a doubter near the end. Thomas had been the only apostle who said they ought to accompany Jesus when He chose to return to Bethany when Lazarus died. (John 11:16) At that time, Thomas was ready to die with his Teacher. But Thomas wasn’t there the first time Jesus appeared after the Resurrection, and being a bit of a pragmatist, he still wanted to see Jesus for himself before he would accept the word of the other disciples. (John 20:25) It was important to Jesus that all of the disciples see and believe, and although Thomas had demanded some hard evidence, when he saw the risen Jesus he needed no more proof. Just as he had been the first ready to die with Christ, Thomas was now the first to make the connection between the Son and the Father, exclaiming “My Lord and my God!”
Thomas was probably not alone in his doubt in the days following the Resurrection of our Lord. In fact, he’s not alone today, when there are so many people who call themselves “Christians” and yet they do not believe in the real, physical Resurrection. Many such people believe in Jesus as a great teacher, and they even believe He lived and died, but they don’t think He lived AGAIN. They explain away Jesus’ miracles through twists and turns of science and logic, and the Resurrection they pass off as wishful thinking or a fable. Of course, as others have pointed out before me, the Resurrection is the key event, the thing that truly distinguishes Christ from all other prophets and wise men. It is the Risen Lord that makes the tale worth telling, because it shows Jesus’ power over death. Jesus and other prophets had raised people from the dead, but only God could have given Jesus life again. That was the connection Thomas made that day. Thomas understood that only God had the power to raise Himself, only God is eternal, only God forgives sin and gives life.
This is not an idle statement that Thomas made. It is in fact a linchpin in Christian faith, because it makes that inevitable connection between Jesus and God. “My Lord and my God!” is a profound acceptance of the deity of Christ. We can, like Peter, say “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), acknowledging Jesus as our Savior. But then we need to be ready to make the next statement with Thomas, “My Lord and my God” and submit ourselves to His authority, acknowledging that Jesus is so much more than just a teacher, more than our Savior, more than even just the Son of God. Where His miracles and healings and power during ministry showed Him as the Christ – the Anointed One, our Savior – His Resurrection confirms that Jesus is Immanuel, “God with us.”
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
With God’s law in our hearts and minds, He is Lord of our lives. And when we truly love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, then He truly is our God. While Thomas at least needed to see Jesus in order to accept Jesus as God, we who have not seen and yet know Him as Lord and Savior, God and Son, are blessed even more. So let us join Thomas and say it aloud: “My Lord and my God!” Let us say it and MEAN it.
Dear Lord of my life, God above all gods, I exalt Your name this day. Throught the Cross, You bridged the gap between Yourself and men, bringing new life – eternal life – to we who were once dead in our sins. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the precious life You lived, the pain You endured, and the bright promise You gave through Your death and resurrection. May I always echo the words of Thomas, “My Lord and my God.” Amen.