On Sunday evening of that day, the first day of the week,
for Jesus’ followers the future still was very bleak.
They gathered in a house where they had sometimes met before,
and fearing the authorities they’d bolted every door.
How startled they all must have been, and maybe frightened, too,
when Jesus suddenly appeared and said, “Peace be with you.”
He then showed them his hands and side. Oh, how they did rejoice
to see the Lord alive again and hear their Master’s voice!
He then repeated what he’d said before, “Peace be with you,
for as the Father has sent me, so I now send you, too.”
And after that he breathed on them, and then went on to say,
“Receive my holy spirit.” He empowered them that day
to pardon sins or to condemn. Because of this last word
much controversy among Bible scholars has occurred.
Now Thomas wasn’t with the others when Christ came that day.
So when they said, “We’ve seen the Lord!” Thomas replied, “No way!
Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and feel his side,
I won’t believe!” For he was certain that Jesus had died.
However, when they met again, after a week had passed,
the Twin was there when Jesus reappeared, and now at last
he, too, believed. For Jesus told him, “Put your finger here,
and see my hands, and touch my side. Have no more doubt or fear.
Believe!” Then Thomas answered him and said, “My Lord, my God!”
The doubter was the first disciple to call Jesus, God!
But Jesus said, “Have you believed because of what you see?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe in me.”
What John reports that Jesus said was needed to convince
those who have had to answer “Who is Jesus?” ever since.