Scattered throughout the resurrection stories in the Gospels are wonderful statements of Christ. Shining among the words of the risen Lord is Christ’s last beatitude.
We all know the beatitudes in our Lord’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. No doubt, as He taught the crowds which followed Him wherever He went, He uttered other beatitudes. But His last beatitude, which we treasure for its contemporary relevance, was given in the Upper Room in Jerusalem one week after His resurrection.
Jesus had come to the Upper Room especially for the disciple Thomas, who has been labeled throughout history as “the doubter.” Now, we should not be too hard on Thomas, because he wasn’t much different from you or me.
He had given his support wholeheartedly to Jesus throughout His years of ministry. But his hopes had been dashed as he saw Jesus arrested and ignominiously hung upon a cross. His dreams shattered, he had gone off in despair.
In his sadness, he had gravitated back to the disciple band, to discover them in a state of excitement. They told him the staggering news that Jesus was alive, and had come to that very room.
Thomas was incredulous, unconvinced. Perhaps with bravado, with the air of one who doesn’t lose his head in an emotionally charged atmosphere, he calmly says, “Seeing is believing. I have to see for myself the nail marks, the wounds. Even to touch Him, before I will believe He is alive.”
When Jesus came for Thomas, the testimony of his senses was not needed. In that thrilling moment he believed, and from his lips came the joyous confession,
“My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). A confession so deep that Thomas went on to do service in which he gave his life for the sake of Christ.
Looking at the kneeling Thomas, Jesus spoke His last beatitude. They were words for us today: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”
(John 20:29). What blessing has come to the multitudes of people down the centuries who, never having seen Christ, have believed and found Him to be their living, loving Savior and Lord.
Jesus understands us each one. He wins us, not by coercion, but by His steadfast love. And when we confess Him as Lord, the rich blessings of His presence follow us through all our days.
Eva Burrows, The War Cry