At our men’s community Bible study this morning as we looked at John chapter 20, verses 21–28, I was reminded of the story of a pastor in Fairfax:
“I was hurting badly over some things that I felt shouldn’t have happened to me. . . . But as I was breaking the bread and consecrating the wine [for Communion], Jesus appeared to me. Without speaking a word, he showed me the nail marks in his hands and feet. I burst into passionate weeping, because I now knew that he understood my pain, and was with me in it. That was all I needed. His presence healed my pain. It drove out my anger and resentment, and restored the peace I had lost. Seeing him transformed me. The need to solve the ‘why’ question evaporated into thin air.”
“If Jesus had given me an explanation of why those hurtful things had happened, it would have satisfied my mind—but it would have had no power to penetrate the much deeper place where I was feeling pain. It would have given me information, but been powerless to bring transformation.”
When we have honest questions and doubts and fears, rather than lashing out at God with anger, we need to seek a fresh encounter with God-the-Son who is the enfleshed-crucified-resurrected-ascended Lord of All.
Once we have experienced Jesus Christ as our Lord of All, we can be sent by Jesus to tell others the good news about him (“As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”—John 20.21)
. . . and when people don’t believe our testimony about Jesus (“They told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he replied, ‘I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.’ “—John 20.25), we need to pray for them
. . . that they will have a fresh encounter with Jesus Christ (“Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”—John 20.27).