By the end of the week Jesus has been wandering around the neighbourhood appearing and disappearing, recreating faith and stretching it. When he comes to Thomas it is a very physical experience indeed, prodding and poking. “Is it really you, Jesus?” In his beautiful letter in 1 John, “we have seen, and heard, and touched. Yes, even held with our own hands, the Word of Life.”
This is tactile faith at is glorious best. It is alright for you young folk, we might think.
But Resurrection, in these old weary bones? Do I really want to get up again, and live again?
Jesus’ embodied resurrection confirms for us the desire of God for fellowship and communion with all God’s creatures, especially us. It is a living Christ who is the means by which this is sustained.
As we sing in our great hymn, “Alive with him, our Living Head …” This is both our desire and goal, “to worship God and enjoy God forever.”
This is the Sabbath fulfilment, eternal rest with God.
It is no accident that Luke’s Resurrection account in the Gospel has Jesus saying, “I am not a ghost! I have flesh and bones, as you can see” (see Luke 24:39-43). To Thomas he says, “Put your finger in the wounds!” (John 20:27). In other words, “I am human!”—which means to be wounded and resurrected at the same time. Or, as we affirm Jesus is the Crucified Risen Lord.
A paradox that does not dismiss the reality of death and declares that Christ returns to his physical body. Yet he is now unlimited by space or time and is without any regret or recrimination while still, ironically, carrying his wounds. These, his wounds, are strangely significant for they are his unique marks that distinguish his identity. He is not someone or something else.
Jesus’ presence is in the locked room with the disciples. There he was, not with angels, trumpets, or legions, but quietly. He brought only peace, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and a commission:
“It is I, myself.” This is the ‘why’ of the resurrection. That is enough.