The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most significant event in human history. It is a powerful demonstration of God’s love and power, and it offers us hope and a new life. In John 20:19-31, we see the risen Christ appearing to his disciples, showing them his wounds, breathing on them the Holy Spirit, and revealing himself to Thomas as the Lord and God. This passage is a powerful reminder of the reality of the resurrection and the transformative power of encountering the risen Christ.
The Resurrected Christ Appears to His Disciples
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples, who were gathered together in a locked room, afraid of the Jewish authorities. Jesus greeted them with the words, "Peace be with you." He showed them his hands and his side, which bore the wounds of his crucifixion. This was a powerful confirmation of his identity as the crucified and risen Lord. The disciples were overjoyed to see Jesus and to receive his peace.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit and Forgiveness
Jesus breathed on his disciples, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit." This was a powerful moment of empowerment and commissioning for the disciples. The Holy Spirit would be their guide and source of power as they went out into the world to proclaim the good news of the gospel. Jesus also gave them the authority to forgive sins, which was a radical and transformative gift. The forgiveness of sins is the foundation of our relationship with God and with one another.
Thomas Believes: "My Lord and My God!"
Thomas, one of the disciples, was not present when Jesus appeared to the others. He doubted their testimony and said he would not believe unless he saw Jesus and touched his wounds. A week later, Jesus appeared to them again, and this time Thomas was there. Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds and to believe. Thomas responded with the powerful confession, "My Lord and my God!" This was a profound moment of faith and surrender for Thomas, and it reminds us that faith is not just a matter of intellectual assent, but of personal encounter and relationship with the risen Christ.
Reflection: Embracing the Risen Christ
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just a historical event, but a present reality. The risen Christ is present with us today, offering us his peace, his Holy Spirit, and his forgiveness. Like the disciples, we may have doubts and fears, but if we open ourselves to the risen Christ, he will reveal himself to us and transform our lives. Let us embrace the risen Christ, and let his love and power flow through us to the world around us.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith and the source of our hope. As we reflect on John 20:19-31, let us be reminded of the reality of the resurrection and the transformative power of encountering the risen Christ. May we receive his peace, his Holy Spirit, and his forgiveness, and may we be empowered to go out into the world and proclaim the good news of the gospel.