Grace Baptist Church

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Easter for Sincere Doubters

Easter for Sincere Doubters

Apr 16, 2017

Passage: John 20:24-31

Preacher: Tom Ascol

Series: Easter Sunday

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: doubt, easter, gospel, hope, resurrection, thomas


Pastor Tom Ascol brings an Easter message built on John 20:24-31 entitled “Easter for Sincere Doubters.” John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, had doubts and sent his followers to question Jesus. The apostle Thomas, famous for doubting, could not believe the resurrection without seeing the risen Christ. Jesus did not give up on either man for their sincere doubts. Rather, Jesus responded with love and gentleness building the faith of these followers.

Thomas’s doubt is shared by many who find belief in the resurrection difficult. Paul, for instance, did not believe and persecuted the church…until he saw the risen Lord. Then he had no choice but to believe. Thomas, despite Jesus’ earlier promises to return and the witness of the other apostles still could not believe. Thomas’s doubt, or any other sincere doubt, does not make Jesus’ resurrection any less real. So it is with us today; doubting any truth does not make that truth untrue. Jesus was raised from the dead. Any doubt we have makes that no less true.

Jesus, knowing Thomas’s doubt, came to him a week after appearing to the other disciples. Jesus was concerned about the sincere doubt Thomas expressed. He seeks to answer that doubt. Jesus, after pronouncing a blessing, offers the very proof Thomas sought. Rather than railing against Thomas’s doubt, the Lord comes to him and calls him to trust Him.

Many people have been in unbelief longer than Thomas. We must ask ourselves how Jesus has dealt with us. He has not railed against us. The fact that we hear His Word today may be Him seeking to answer our doubts, calling us to trust Him just as He reached out to Thomas. It is in this manner Jesus overcomes sincere doubt.

Thomas answered to the proof the Lord offered “My Lord and my God.” It was a personal faith as evidenced by his use of the word “my.” Yet it was also a public faith as he made his confession in front of the other disciples present. This is the working of true faith, appropriating Him personally and proclaiming Him publicly. Being convinced of the Resurrection left Thomas little choice. Since the fact of the Resurrection has been established, both through God’s Word and secular history, we too are left with little choice. Since the Resurrection overcame our greatest and seemingly unconquerable enemy, death, the power in raising Christ must have been of God. The Resurrection makes the other miracles of Jesus pale by comparison yet also provides proof that Jesus was capable of those miracles.

Today, of course, we cannot put our hand in Jesus’ side nor can we see His wounds. Jesus was aware of this and spoke to it when He said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus’ words ought to speak to us today. Do any of us really have a legitimate reason to deny the truth of the Resurrection and all that implies about God’s might and His love for his creatures. He has provided an escape from the judgment for our sins. Why will you not trust Him to provide that personally?