Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.Luke 24:39
You have to feel for Thomas. For 2000 years, his name has been associated with “doubt.” But I can’t imagine that any of us would have reacted any differently to the news that a man you knew to be dead, killed in the most horrific fashion, was up and walking around. I think his response of “I’ll believe it when I see it” reflected less a lack of faith in Christ and more an affirmation of astonishment. Because for all of history the dead had stayed, well, dead.
Any of us who have stared into the casket of a loved one have known the feelings of finality that come with death. We wish with all our hearts to see the person open his or her eyes, tell us it was all a joke, and insist that we all head out to Whataburger and have a good laugh. But we know better. The person we love is gone, and were we told the next day that they were up and about, we would scoff at such nonsense.
Yet for those of us who are Christian, the incredible impossibility of resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith. We believe–actually believe–that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and three days later lived again. The New Testament apostles focused on this element of the Atonement of Christ more than any other, recognizing that if people could believe this astonishing claim of resurrection, belief in Christ’s doctrines would come easily by comparison. The ultimate proof that Jesus was the Christ was that He rose from the dead.
I think that sometimes when we face our own hardships or find ourselves up against seemingly impossible obstacles, we would do well to remember the miracle that stands at the center of our hope: The resurrected Christ. If He could move the mountain of death, then our own challenges become comparative molehills. If we believe in the resurrection, then we believe that Christ has power that surpasses all understanding, and certainly power that is sufficient to save us as well.
Unlike Thomas, we have not had the reality of the resurrection confirmed by the physical presence of Christ. But as our testimonies grow and the roots of our faith dig deeper into our souls, we can spiritually feel the tokens in His hands and know. That knowledge of the power of He on whom we cast our burdens gives us the assurance that we can draw upon that power for our own salvation.
I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.Bruce R. McConkie