As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. Luke 24:35-40 (ESV)
The day after Easter and a few thousand years ago, Christ’s disciples were still confused. Even though a group of women saw his resurrected body, many doubted that He was alive. From the two disciples on the road to Emmaus to Thomas to Peter to John, I know that they debated and discussed the possibility that a miracle had taken place. From our vantage point, their disbelief seems out of place. After all, they had walked and talked with Jesus for three years. They saw Him heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. Yet, they could not comprehend that He had the power to do it for Himself. But, if you think about it, they saw His lifeless body. They wrapped Him in clothes and felt His cold skin and knew He did not breathe. His heart no longer beat. They assumed that the power that He held was gone. It was finished took on a whole different meaning for them than it does for us who live in times after the resurrection. Then, one by one, they met Him face to face. Touched His nail pierced hands, witnessed His power alive and at work again. And they believed. For almost three months, a variety of doctors and I, with the sometimes reluctant cooperation of my insurance company, have been on the trail of a group of mysterious neurological symptoms that started about the same time as I embarked on a forty day prayer challenge. The diagnosis that they initially gave me was scary and life altering. Not life threatening, but it certainly would have meant that I would have to change the way I approached life. Though the doctor made me promise to stay off the Internet, it seemed like every time I signed on to AOL, a story about that disease was featured. Now, I realize it was because I had peaked at a website and AOL is smart enough to record my interests and show me what they think I want to know. Today, I went to the doctor and all my tests came back negative. The dreaded list of diseases are no longer a threat to me. But, my first reaction was disbelief. How could that be? All the symptoms pointed to that diagnosis. In human terms, it was already decided. The tests woud just support their claims. I rolled the diagnosis or lack of it around in my head for several hours. As I answered the questions of friends eager for a miracle, I still held on to my disbelief. Then, I remembered what I had learned about one of those tests, that it was the definitive answer to my diagnosis. Surely the test could not be wrong. I finally accepted the fact that my prayers and that of many friends had been answered. Right now, no one knows exactly what was wrong with me. Perhaps a virus, perhaps inflamed nerves. But, not what they predicted. Like the disciples, I had to set aside my rational side. The one that had already made up my mind of what was true and accept that instead, God’s power is still at work. Thanks be to God. He is risen. He is risen indeed. .