Summary: It is not noted why Thomas was not there, but one thing we should note that his absence caused him to miss out on what Jesus was ready for them to do. In fact had you ever missed a service, and everyone that was there would tell about the good time they h
Dr. Wayne A. Lawson
Antioch Institutional Baptist Church
Oklahoma City, OK
Preached Sunday, February 14, 2010
TITLE: THOMAS MISSED THE MEETING
SCRIPTURE: ST. JOHN 20:19-29
The Lord lead me to this exciting passage of Scripture in an effort to Help and Encourage our Brothers as we begin to make great strides in the reorganization effort of our brotherhood ministry. I pray that this message will encourage each of our Brothers to become more committed and determined to participate and support all that we are challenged to do for the Advancement of God’s Kingdom. Sisters, would you help me this morning in your responses during this preaching hour and encourage the brothers that are seated around you, a hardy Amen here and there and Clapping your Hands will go a long way this morning as we ignite the fire the Brotherhood Ministries requires.
Brothers, I want you to be encouraged and know that you are of Vital Importance to this ministry. Your support is the accelerator for this Ministry. When you don’t support, our progression suffers, something happens when you are not in attendance. Through the Help of the Holy Spirit, we will examine what happened when Thomas Missed the Meeting – and what happens brothers when you miss the meeting and fail to participate in the Life of the Church.
When we think of the Lord’s disciples, we have certain words that almost always go with them. We think of Judas Iscariot or Judas the Betrayer, we think of Peter denying Christ three times but also Peter the Rock that the church was built on, we think of the John, the one Jesus loves, and we also think of Thomas or as he is better known as Doubting Thomas. Thomas has been branded as a doubter. The truth is the Bible never portrays him as such. Thomas isn’t the only person whom history has defined by a single experience. Consider:
• President Richard Nixon who is remembered more for the Watergate break-in than for the normalization of relations with China
• George Armstrong Custer is known more for his defeat at Little Big Horn than for being the youngest general in the Union Army
• Babe Ruth is known as the "Home Run King" even though he also holds the dubious distinction of being the "Strike-out King."
The outskirts of our text declares Jesus had been crucified on that dreadful Friday. Our text ushers us into the early hours of Sunday morning – the first day of the week – spot light shines upon Mary Magdalene when it was yet dark went to the tomb where Jesus body was hurriedly laid to rest. First thing she took note of was the huge stone that had been placed to seal the tomb had been rolled away. She looked in and he who was crucified was gone. She supposing that someone had stolen the body of Jesus ran and found Peter and John. John only looked – Peter approached and entered. I always thought it interesting, consider this verse with me - Vs. 8 “THEN WENT IN ALSO THAT OTHER DISCIPLE, WHICH CAME FIRST TO THE SEPULCHRE, AND HE SAW, AND BELIEVED.” This however, was not said immediately of Peter.
I don’t know why but after Peter and John left and returned home – Mary remained there hoping for some clue to the whereabouts of Jesus, struggling with her double grief over his death and the disappearance of His sacred form. She looked in again and saw something the two disciples had not seen – two angels. Ordinarily a vision of angels would have brought a feeling of excitement and Awe, but Mary was too overborne with grief to feel any other emotion. She was equally uninterested in another form that loomed up before her as she turned away into the Garden.
Her only concern was to press her search for the body, and there was a chance that this man was the Gardener and might have removed it. Electrified at hearing her name spoken in the familiar voice of Jesus, she burst out – Rabboni. It is not unduly surprising that Mary recognized the voice of Jesus when He spoke her name but not when he first questioned her. Mary did not expect Jesus to be alive – leading to recover his body. This lets me know that even the familiar can seem strange to us when we encounter it unexpectedly.
The author of our lesson tells us that the disciples of Jesus, with the exception of Thomas – because Thomas Missed the Meeting – the other 10 brothers had gathered together on that evening that the tomb was found to be empty, and Mary Magdalene had reported to have seen the risen Christ - They gathered that evening to have a meeting. It was Easter evening. But, instead of celebrating the news of Christ’s resurrection, we are told that they had gathered behind locked doors, in fear of the Jewish authorities.