The Apostle Thomas did not find faith to be easy. He doubted Jesus’ resurrection and demanded to feel Jesus’ wounds before being convinced that it was true. This is John 20:24-29
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I totally understand Thomas. Heck, I am doubting Thomas. As you know, I am the resident Revo skeptic. I doubt every conspiracy theory and demand we use the logic of Occum’s Razor on every event in which there is any doubt as to the cause. I won’t suffer trutherism, birtherism, Trigerism, Grassy Knollism or any other conspiracy theory in which the facts don’t add up to the conclusion. I demand facts first and conclusions second. Revoistas know that if you attempt to reverse the order – conclusions first, facts second – you are likely to get a flaming beat down from RD. I demand evidence and geometric logic…almost always. In one area of thought, however, I have reversed myself and I now arrive at the conclusion first.
I believe that Christ suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfilment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end. That is the conclusion I have arrived at and no evidence can undermine it; no evidence is needed to support it.
It ain’t easy, however. MadBrad calls me Spock for a reason. Spock’s brain rebels at conclusions without supporting evidence. Spock’s ego hates it. The logic centers of my Spock brain scream that, in believing in the resurrection, am doing it backwards. I must have evidence first. I must see it to believe it. Spock tells me that, like Thomas, I must touch the wounds. Most of my life I was Thomas and Thomas still resides in my mind.
Christ told Thomas, however, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That is really the point. That is the trick. That is the challenge. That is the meaning of it all. That is faith.
As a young man, I thought faith should come easy: Just wake up in the morning and it would be there. When I found it wasn’t there, I took the easy route and went with Spock and Thomas. I didn’t believe. Brad can bear me out on this. I treated the resurrection just like I would a 9/11 conspiracy theory. I demanded evidence and, without it, didn’t believe. My ego wouldn’t allow be to doubt the logic centers of my freakin’ brilliant intellect.
With age, however, comes wisdom. I am not quite as arrogant as I once was. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I would open my mind up to the possibility that the Grace of God is real, that the Holy Spirit works with us and that Christ is the Word made Flesh. I let go of my ego and I stopped rejecting Christ. I opened my mind and told Spock and Thomas to give it a rest for a while.
The result was, suddenly, an epiphany; a moment of clarity. It became evident to me that Faith is really the point. Faith means letting go of your ego and overcoming your arrogance. It means submitting to a greater good and a greater truth. It is peace, it is comfort, it is light. It is a really a wonderful gift that I had been rejecting!
It also means hard work. I am still Thomas and I am still Spock. The Thomas and Spock centers of my brain demand that I go through the process. They demand predominance. They demand skepticism, proof and doubt. They do constant battle with the part of my intellect that now understands the great gift that is faith.
I now understand that faith and skepticism can and should live together in the same house. With too much skepticism, faith dies. Thomas needed the proof of a bloody finger. He believed, but it was a faithless belief. Skepticism alone is faithless but, ironically, faith doesn’t exist without skepticism. If belief is based on nothing but the easy, empirical evidence of Thomas’ bloody finger, faith is unnecessary.
Faith and skepticism inhabit opposite sides of the same coin. Balancing faith and skepticism is an exercise that makes me happier, friendlier, a better husband, a better father, more peaceful and an all around better person. It is also, by the way, the path to Salvation.
I can now proclaim with complete faith that Christ is Risen! I believe it with all of my heart. I need no proof. Proof would undermine the need for Faith. Faith is what I need and I thank God that He has given me the gift. It is priceless.