SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2014

Ven. Ernest Onuoha




‘But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe,’ John 20v24-25.

The canonical gospels including John reported of different appearances of Jesus shortly after His resurrection. First Mary Magdalene, then to the disciples, to Thomas, to the disciples again excluding Judas Iscariot, to the seven and then to the two on Emmaus road. These were attempts to further prove to the whole world that Jesus was alive in flesh and blood.

We recall the attempts made to rubbish the resurrection story of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. It was shameful that soldiers were bribed to say that the disciples came and stole Him, when the fact remains that the disciples including Mary Magdalene and the other Mary; all saw where He was laid after His crucifixion. And that was why the women that went to the tomb did not miss their way.

It is, therefore, not a case of a mistaken identity as Jesus rose again and His appearance to different segments of His followers was to reassure them and to deepen their faith in the Father through the resurrection power at work. Thomas called Didymus was still not yet settled about this matter. Even when he was told by other believers that the Lord had risen, he retorted thus: ‘…except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe,’ Jhv25. The scripture was right: ‘blessed ‘are’ they that have not seen, and ‘yet’ have believed,’ Jh 20v29.

It is possible that Thomas is not alone in this mess. A man, who followed, ate and drank with the Saviour and yet he was full of unbelief. Such a betrayal of faith leaves much to be desired. It is sad even today that some men and women, who follow Jesus, are not deep-rooted in their faith. Yes, they carry the Bible but they are full of doubts and such is very incredible. Faith according to the writer of Hebrews: ‘Now faith is assurance of ‘things’ hoped for, a conviction of things not seen,’ Heb. 11v1. Was it not Jesus that said: ‘destroy this temple and I shall build it up in three days,’ Jh 2v19. The hope of every Christian, therefore, was that this shall come to pass and thanks to goodness, it came to pass, as on the resurrection day, He rose again.

The faith of the believer at all time should not waiver, but should remain like the northern star that does not move. Such a faith is capable of dispelling doubts and is not subjected to the whims and caprices of situations. There is no room for doubts but we are to be strengthened by our faith in Him, Who came, died and rose again. It is expected, therefore, that all who call upon His name should put doubts aside and follow Him closely with a simple faith.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Delta State.

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