Summary: A sermon presented in dramatic form as if being presented by the Apostle Thomas.
I want to thank the pastor for inviting me to speak this Easter Sunday. I’ve been told a lot of people identify with me. Maybe after you hear my story you’ll identify with me also. Now I know there’s a derogatory nickname for me going around - "Doubting Thomas".
Actually that really doesn’t fit me. I think I’ve been misunderstood by a lot of folks. Sure, all of us have had doubts about faith. The only difference with me was I expressed mine when a lot of other people kept their doubts to themselves. But you know what I’ve found out? It’s all right to talk about the doubts you have because there are wonderful answers to your questions! Jesus never once reprimanded me for my questions. He would simply answer them. I think He wanted to answer my questions and I think He wants to answer yours. The big mistake is keeping your questions to yourself.
For instance, I can tell you about one time I had a question for Jesus and He answered it to my satisfaction. It was when we finished eating the Last Supper. Jesus could tell we were all troubled about His talk of dying so He said:
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." (John 14:1-4)
Well when Jesus said He was going away and we knew where He was going and we knew how to get there - I interupted Him. I said, "Lord, we don’t know where you’re going and how do we get there?" It was an honest question. Jesus didn’t rebuke me. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
Then I understood Him. He was going back to heaven, back to the Father, and the good news was - because He paved the way, we could also go to the Father through Jesus! Jesus didn’t say He was one of the ways to heaven, He said He was "the way". He didn’t say He knew the way to heaven, He said He was "the way". I’m so glad now I asked that question. Now everyone knows the truth.
Don’t ever be afraid to seek the truth from God! He’s got all the answers you’re looking for!
You see, I wasn’t a doubter, as many people think. I was what you might call today a "seeker". I was always seeking the truth. I was loyal to Jesus. I loved Him. Why, I was even willing to die with Jesus.
Like the time our good friend Lazarus was dying. When we heard about it we tried to talk Jesus out of going back to Judea because the Jews there had just recently sought to kill Jesus by stoning Him. (John 11:8) When we saw Jesus had made up His mind to go into the jaws of danger I said, "Let us go also that we may die with Him." (John 11:16) I knew there was danger in doing my duty, but I loved Jesus, and if He was going to face His enemies I wanted to be at His side.
When we got to the town of Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. Any hope of Jesus healing him was past. All we could do was try and comfort his two sisters, Martha and Mary. I’ll never forget the conversation that Jesus had with Martha.
"Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died", Martha said. "And I know, that even now, whatsoever you ask of God, God will give it to you." (John 11:21,22)
We all should have paid closer attention to what Jesus said to Martha:
"Your brother will rise again", Jesus said. Martha said, "I know he will rise again at the resurrection at the last day." Then Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
After He made that statement Jesus backed it up. He went to the tomb of Lazarus and had them roll the stone to the entrance away. Then He looked up to heaven and said,
"Father, I thank thee that you heard me. I know you always hear me, but because of the people who are standing around me I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me."