Summary: The resurrection changes everything!
The Reality Of The Resurrection
1. As Christians, we must remember not only Christ's death but also His resurrection. The resurrection is not only power for eternal living, but for everyday life. This power is clearly revealed in the lives of the disciples’ for the rest of their lives.
2. In the moment that Thomas saw Jesus with his own eyes, we are not told what he did but we do know what he said: My Lord and my God! In that very moment, Thomas declared what had never been said before! This was truly a miraculous moment.
3. I believe the reason Jesus confronted Thomas and his unbelief is because Thomas desperately needed to understand the reality of the resurrection for himself.
4. When Jesus showed up and confronted Thomas, He really wanted Thomas to believe, to throw away his doubts and just believe. Jesus wanted His death and resurrection to mean something in Thomas's life.
A. Jesus didn't die so that Thomas would live out the rest of his life in doubt. He died and resurrected so that Thomas could believe and live free from doubt.
B. No matter how numb you find yourself, how dead and hopeless your situation is, this might even be your fourth day, as in Lazarus's case, it is no match for the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Life is still a very real possibility for you, if you believe.
5. The reality of the resurrection is seen in the fact that it...
A. Strengthened The Disciples Resolve
B. Strengthened The Disciples Relationship With Him
C. Found In Restored Lives
6. Let's stand together as we read John 20:19-29; 21:15-19.
Proposition: The resurrection changes everything!
Transition: First, the reality of the resurrection...
I. Strengthened The Disciples' Resolve (19-23).
A. Peace Be With You
1. Resolve is defined as “commitment, boldness, and courage.”
A. When Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, it seemed that in one sweeping moment, the disciples lost all their resolve. What happened?
B. I believe their fear and lack of courage surprised even themselves.
C. We tend to think highly of ourselves. We imagine scenarios where we face our weaknesses and our oppressors, and we imagine ourselves saying just the right words at just the right time.
D. Can you imagine the disciples coming together after the death of Jesus? One looks to the other: "Where did you go? What did you do? What did you say? Did anyone stand up for Jesus?" Imagine the shame and humiliation.
E. Resolve is hard to come by when your life is in danger. It quickly diminishes when your family's life is in danger. Questions and doubt fill your mind.
F. Thomas wasn't the only one to doubt. He was just the most vocal. Thomas, like Peter, really loved Jesus. Why do I say that? Because he, like Peter, was willing to die with Jesus.
2. But then something amazing happened. John tells us, "That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said."
A. Once again we see John give a precise description of time. It was evening on that same day, Sunday, the evening of the resurrection.
B. When he tells us that the doors were "locked" (the Greek means no more than "shut," but NLT seems correct as we see in a few minutes, because of their fear of the Jews).
C. The group that met together is called simply "the disciples." This may mean the apostles only (or rather ten of them, for Thomas was not present).
D. But the term is wide enough to include others, and there is no real reason for thinking that apostles only are in mind.
E. Certainly if the occasion is that referred to in Luke 24:33 others were present, for Luke expressly mentions them.
F. We should also keep in mind that in this very chapter John speaks of "the Twelve" (v. 24), so he must mean something different when he says "the disciples."
G. The disciples were afraid (understandably), and they took precautions. Now Jesus came and stood among them.
H. This appears to mean that he had not come through the door in the normal fashion (otherwise what is the point of mentioning the shut door?).
I. It has been suggested that Jesus came right through the closed door, or that the door opened of its own accord.
J. But since Scripture says nothing about Jesus' entry into the room, any attempt to describe it is merely a guess.
K. As the old saying goes, "where Scripture is silent, we are silent. We can only say that the risen Jesus was not limited by closed doors.