Summary: This message examines how not only Thomas initially doubted Jesus' resurrection, but all of the other disciples too. It's a message of redemption, understanding and true trust.
The “After The Resurrection” Story
Jesus is still appearing to people today! His work is not done. Before we go into the heart of the message this morning, I want to read a poem from the book I am reading by Tom Doyle titled, “Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World.”
May the Lord Jesus guide you, O Muslims
And enlighten your hearts that you might love others
The forum does not revile the Master of the prophets
It is for the display of truth, and for you it was revealed
This is the truth that you do not know
What we say are the words of the Master of the prophets
We do not worship the cross, and we are not possessed
We worship the Lord Jesus, the Light of the worlds
We left Mohammed, and we do not follow in his path
We followed Jesus Christ, the Clear Truth
Truly, we love our homeland, and we are not traitors
We take pride that we are Saudi citizens
How could we betray our homeland, our dear people?
How could we, when for death – for Saudi Arabia – we stand ready?
The homeland of my grandfathers, their glories, and paths – for it I am writing
And we say, “We are proud, proud to be Saudis”
We chose our way, the way of the rightly guided
And every man is free to choose any religion
Be content to leave us to ourselves to be believers in Jesus
Let us live in grace before our time comes
There are tears on my cheek, and Oh! The heart is sad
To those who become Christians, how you are so cruel!
And the Messiah says, “Blessed are the persecuted”
And we for the sake of Christ all things bear
What is to you that we are infidels?
You do not enter our graves, as if with us buried
Enough – your swords do not concern me, not evil or disgrace
Your threats do not trouble me, and we are not afraid
And by God, I am unto death a Christian – in truth
I cry for what passed by, of a sad life
I was far from the Lord Jesus for many years
O history record! And bear witness, O witnesses!
We are Christians – in the path of Christ we walk on
Take from me this word, and note it well
You see, Jesus is my Lord, and He is the best of protectors
I advise you to pity yourself, to clap your hands in mourning
See your look of ugly hatred
Man is brother to man, O learned ones
Where is the humanity, the love, and where are you?
As to my last words, I pray to the Lord of the worlds
Jesus the Messiah, the Light of Clear Guidance
That He change beliefs, and set the scales of justice rightly
And that He spread love among you, O Muslims.
This poem was written by Fatima al-Mutairi in July 2008, a few days before her death at the age of twenty-six. Fatima grew up in a Muslim family in Saudi Arabia. From a child her chief desire was to know and live for God. She was a devout Muslim who practiced her faith meticulously. She dressed in the traditional black hijab and she fasted every Monday and Thursday. She refused to join her family in watching television or listening to secular music. As she was doing research for an essay contest sponsored by the Saudi government on “Islam between fanaticism and moderation” Fatima came across a Saudi who had converted to Christianity. He shared his faith with her and pointed out the errors of Muhammad. Fatima reacted violently to such claims. She burned with religious zeal. She went in search of answers in order to challenge his many claims but the more she searched the Islamic scriptures and religious material the more she was disappointed with the contradictions. She said “The shock I felt when I studied Islam was enough to drive me to atheism and away from any other religion…I became an atheist, I no longer believed in anything.” She found her religion to be a deception.
During this time she did discover that the Koran testified of Christ, His death and His resurrection. With a desire to know more about Christianity she returned to communicate with her Christian friend on the internet. She began to cry out to the one true God to guide her to the truth. Finally she found and read the Holy Gospels. She wept as she read. The Lord was speaking to her heart. She cried out, “But you are my God! It’s you I’m looking for since my childhood…Where are you Lord?” She later wrote, “I was searching the Bible for Jesus. When I started reading the Bible, Jesus attracted me. I saw a huge difference between what I knew about Mohammad and what I was reading about Jesus…While I was reading the Bible, I felt that God was very near, that there were no barriers between us and that I had no fears…What really attracted me to the Bible was Jesus’ story; in my view, this is the greatest story in human history.” In 2007 she arranged to travel to France where she was baptized in water as a Christian. Upon her return she continued as a secret Christian. In July 2008, several days before her death, she found herself in a heated argument with her parents and two brothers who now were beginning to suspect something was different about her. Her brother called her to repent. In her last communication she wrote, “Don’t worry as, the Lord is with me. He is my light and salvation so from whom do I fear?” After writing this and refusing to repent and rejoining Islam, her brother came into her room, dragged her to their backyard and tortured her before finally beating her to death.