Thomas, the apostle, is arguably the most famous doubter of all time. What he did to deserve this is believe that a person he knew was dead and buried was still dead. How can we blame him for that?
Recently I was driving onto a military base to make a hospital visit. The guard at the gate ran a background check. When he came back with my ID and the results, he started questioning me about felonies that he said he had found on my record. Now I know for sure that I have never committed a felony, but in just a couple of minutes, a man I never met had me rethinking something I knew to be absolutely true about myself.
That’s how easy we can fall into doubt in our lives. The dictionary defines doubt as existing between belief and unbelief. We fall into this gap right along with Thomas all too often. When God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we expect we can easily slip into doubt. When something amazing happens in our life we assume we earned it and we can slip into doubt. Almost anything can lead us into doubt.
In this reading, when Jesus first is appearing to the disciples, he tells them that they have the authority to forgive sins and that this will be recognized in Heaven. This is everything. This draws our sin and our doubt into His sacrifice and opens Heaven’s gates to us. In the very same text when we can feel guilty right along with Thomas, the most famous doubter, Jesus gives us forgiveness, and gives us Heaven. We receive every good thing because of His work for us all because… He is Risen! Alleluia!