On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Keep in mind: the doors were locked, but he got in anyway. What might stop us in our regular bodies did not stop Jesus in his resurrected body. He didn’t force or blast his way in, but somehow the peace of the resurrection allowed him entry where others could not have entered.
And again, when Thomas was in the upper room, Jesus returned. “Peace be with you.”
So much does Jesus want Thomas to be at peace, that he offers his side and his hands. “Put your finger here … and do not be unbelieving but believe!”
Many of those who experienced these signs and wonders did come to believe. St John tells us these signs in order that we, too, may believe and have life in His name. Yet there were several who walked away, who found it too improbable, too different from what they had already lived.
In Pascha, in the Resurrection, Death has passed over us. That’s what Pascha means: Passover. The Pharaohs of this time are not kings on thrones but rather draw our attention away from what should be most central in our lives. Perhaps our Pharaohs are even more effectively enslaving us than the Pharaoh of Egypt was able to enslave the Israelites. After all, in so many ways, so many of us struggle to even consider that the Resurrection would have any effect on us today.
And so, Jesus – in his Body, the Church – invites us to place our finger and hand into his wounds. To feel the loving sacrifice, the wound he willingly suffers. To allow that wound to become part of us. As he spoke to Thomas, so he speaks again to us about the life he offers: “Do not be unbelieving but believe!”
Read it again: John 20:19-31 … and for the Passover, Exodus 11-13