Easter is not one day – No Fear!
It is important to remember that Easter is not just a single day of celebration, but actually carries on for all the weeks between Easter Day and Pentecost (and we can celebrate Jesus being raised from the dead all year round!)
The Bible readings for the week after Easter this year make this clear, particularly the reading from John’s gospel, which picks up directly where Easter Day’s reading left off.
Jesus is not locked-down by death, tombs or doors
Peter and the Beloved Disciple have seen the empty tomb, and Mary Magdalene has come to realise that Jesus is indeed alive. This news has begun to filter through to confused disciples, fearful and locked in a house in Jerusalem. John shows that they still need much reassurance, that they all have a lot to learn. They need to encounter Jesus, who is not confined by the doors being locked, a stone over a tomb or death itself. He is alive and reigns and brings peace to his frightened friends.
Whatever our need, Christ meets us
In the same way, whatever our circumstances, whatever our fear, whatever our confusion, Jesus will meet us. He shares peace with us, the peace that has broken the power of every sin over us.
Christ meets us in our fears
He breathes the Holy Spirit upon us, empowering us to face the situations of fear. It is difficult to be a disiciple sometimes, to find the faith we think we should feel. Jesus knows this and that’s why John shares this meeting with us – to encourage us in our quest to grow and live out our faith.
Jesus does not condemn Thomas for his doubts
Which brings us to Thomas, often called Doubting and famous for his need to see the wounds on Jesus’ resurrected body and his skepticism that the disciples had seen Jesus. But what is important here is not so much that Thomas has doubts. I think all of us would understand that! What is more important is that Jesus doesn’t actually condemn Thomas for doubting. He offers Thomas the chance to answer his doubts, prompting the exclamation ‘My Lord and My God!’ Doubt doesn’t stop Thomas being a friend of Jesus or sharing the Good News with others. The same is true for us.
Doubts do not mean we are abandoned
Whatever our doubts or shortcomings might be, that doesn’t mean we are abandoned. Jesus remains with us, as he was with the first disicples.
When we fall short we can trust
God That’s why we should not chase a perfection that we will always fail to reach or think we have to be a flawless Christian. Instead, we should be honest with ourselves before God. We shouldn’t try to decieve ourselves, but recognise that when we do fall short we should trust that we have an Advocate before God the Father. Jesus Christ the righteous knows our weaknesses and continues to offer us forgiveness and peace as long as we ask for them.
May you be strengthened this week, Easter season and always, to proclaim: My Lord and My God!’