Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:26-31
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Rodney Stark, a United States professor at the University of Washington, says that during the plagues that repeatedly hit the ancient Roman Empire, Romans would throw people out in the street at the first symptoms of disease. They knew the disease was dangerous, and they were afraid of dying.
But the Christians were different.
They stayed and nursed the sick ... something you could do only if you thought so what if I die? I have eternal life.
The truth is you will die, even as everybody you know will also die. In contrast, Christians know Jesus Christ lives and, because He lives, those who die with faith in Jesus Christ will also live.
For Christians, death is not final.
The 20th chapter of John tells how Jesus dealt with a man who doubted His resurrection. That man's name was Thomas. In that passage, Thomas, who was struggling to believe without seeing and touching Jesus' body, is brought to faith. By the Holy Spirit's power he is given a spiritual understanding that does not totally rely on physical proof.
John's Gospel is not the only book of the Bible where this truth is revealed. Read Romans 8:11. "And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you."
My friends, the Lord wants you to have the same faith He gave Thomas. All you have to do is believe in what God says in the Bible. To that end, here are ten reasons to believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead:
1. A public execution assured His death.
2. A high official secured the gravesite.
3. In spite of guards, the grave was found empty.
4. Many people claim to have seen Him alive.
5. His apostles were dramatically changed.
6. Witnesses were willing to die for their claims.
7. Jewish believers changed their day of worship.
8. Although it was unexpected, it was clearly predicted.
9. It was a fitting climax to a miraculous life.
10. It fits the experience of those who trust Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, because Jesus is alive I know my death is not final. May that gracious truth comfort me each and every day of my life. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Pastor Kevin Wendt. He headed up a team from Concordia Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Their group went to Thailand to help build boats that had been destroyed by the December 2004 tsunami. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Thailand, known locally as Journey Into Light (JIL), established its ministry center in Bangkok in 1991. It utilizes mass media technologies to proclaim the Gospel, while supporting local churches and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod missionaries. In addition to serving others through LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) program, five 30-minute radio programs are broadcast daily to the citizens of this Southeast Asian country of nearly 70 million.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries