Jesus’ encounter with Thomas was unique. 
It was Sunday afternoon, the disciples were gathered together praying and worshiping God. There wasn’t much else to do anyway. Suddenly the air was filled with a strange and sweet perfume. Then it seemed light, not a bright offensive light, but a warm glow surrounded them. 

Ohhh! His presence as He manifested in the front of the room (even though the doors were locked) was awe-inspiring. His hands were so slowly lifted, it almost seemed it will never stop rising.

“Peace be unto you!”

His voice was warm and solemn. His smile was both grave and welcoming. He was the personification of grace.

Then he turned to Thomas specifically, “why did you doubt that I had risen like I promised? Why?”
 The look in his eyes was neither condemning nor accusing.
“Please come…”

Thomas was unsure of himself as he stepped out of the crowd. Was Jesus going to expel him from his group of friends? You know the thoughts that go through your mind as a schoolboy when the Principal calls you out in the morning assembly? After you have been caught red-handed breaking the school rules? That was the feeling in Thomas’ heart as he approached Jesus.
 
“Put your hand in my side, can you feel the hole? The mark of the spear?”

Thomas was hesitant. He didn’t want to cause him any more pains the wound should still be fresh. But it was not. Jesus had a new body but he had retained the evidence for doubters like Thomas, like you, like me. 

Thomas was shocked by the gaping hole in his side that had hardened. But then Jesus stretched forth his hand and invited him to see. People assume all the time that what Jesus was showing him was the mark of the nails in his hand. How wrong! Thomas saw something hard to explain.

In the stretched out hand was not only a gaping nail-pierced flesh – anybody could see that, they all did when He first greeted them – that was not what Jesus wanted Thomas to see. There was something else very personal.

“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you, Thomas, never! Behold, I have graven  your name upon the palms of my hand. Your walls are continually before me.”

Thomas was stunned to see his name tattooed onto the palm of Jesus. That was when he screamed!
“My Lord and my God!”

Surely with the heart a man believes, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Thomas had laid the principle of the altar call. He wasn’t amongst the inner four, he had no special place in the fold until that moment, that one revelation. 

That was the moment Jesus was no longer just a rabbi or another evangelist in Thomas’ life – MY LORD and MY GOD!

Have you looked into his palms lately? Did you see your name?
There may be 9 billion people on earth; some of them very rich, others very poor; some are very powerful, some are great preachers, others are down-trodden, afflicted, injured, overwhelmed....You are not just a number out of the whole lot, God picked you out.  

It’s true; your name is the most important sound in any language. However, what is even more important than the sound of your name is where it is written. Imagine your name written on Forbes’ list of richest men or most influential people. Or imagine your name written on the cover of an international bestseller or imagine your name written amongst the list of condemned prisoners. Now you get the idea. Where your name is written is what makes it what it is. I saw my name on God’s hand! Have you seen yours? What a moment it is when you are struck by the realization that you are permanently engraved on his palms! Is it not comforting to note that your doubt could not erase his love for you?

Thomas and all the disciples wondered and crowded Jesus. Each saw his or her name boldly written in the most beautiful handwriting on his palms. But one thing nagged at their heart. It was a mystery they struggled to understand:

Bodies are either spiritual or physical. A spiritual body cannot be touched. It cannot be prevented by walls. This perfectly explained why Jesus could walk into the room with the doors closed. So then, why was it possible to also touch him?

Slowly the mystery of the resurrection was being solved. The body of Jesus could not be held down by the ground, by the cave or the great stone rolled to cover the tomb. His body could travel through any barrier, yet could be touched by humans at the same time!

Truly, he went bodily to hell and was not held by the grave! He was not flesh and blood. He was flesh and Spirit.

Postscript

For another 32 days Jesus shuttled between heaven and earth, setting up a structure that will defeat every attempt to destroy it. His instruction was clear; the Holy Spirit would finally come when all the loose ends have been tied. 

Those days were days of intense excitement in Heaven but over and above the joy was the Heavenly council meeting to plan the inauguration, establishment, growth and ultimate perfection of the Church. Just as Eve had come out of the sleep of Adam, so the church was destined to come out of the ‘sleep’ of Christ. 

Its administrative structures were designed. The gifts required for its smooth running were identified and documented. Its challenges were mapped out and the strategies were written to be revealed at the appropriate time.

Some people think that Christianity has broken into too many splinter groups called sects or denominations and that this is wrong. Yet at that inaugural council meeting it was agreed that this was going to be the best way forward. No man will be left with an excuse that he didn’t see a church that fitted his lifestyle. 

The Church, (the Body of Christ) was the next phase in the Eternal plan of God and it would not be rushed into. The planning was thorough; the plan again was perfect but who would execute it?

Jesus had told the council in heaven about his experiment in hell. Man, redeemed man, can be trusted with the plan. He was absolutely certain. 

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

All issues raised, all views considered, the Council of heaven decided that the Holy Spirit will run this massive project and cover the world starting from Jerusalem. Jesus’ final responsibility was to tell the select few and get them ready for the take off.

In passing, the council had also decided that given the massive victory of *The Word project* a fitting welcome ceremony was in order. The committee had put everything in place. It was the grand finale.
It would hold exactly 40 days after His resurrection.

(c) DeepWords Devotional
All materials shared during this Easter Experience were taken from the following books:
No Wonder They Call Him Jesus! (An unusual narrative of the events of the bible from the perspective of Eternity.)
The Meeting Point (A devotional that focuses on the strange collisions that took place and still takes place when a man encounters the cross of Christ)
The Man on the Cross (The Easter devotional that goes beyond the surface to see what the cross truly represents and who really is on the cross) and,
What A Saviour! (The unbelievable eye-witness testimonies of the people that attended the funeral of Jesus)
These and other inspirational books and devotionals are authored by Aleele Paago. We hope that you have been blessed this season. We are praying for you everyday, please continue to pray for us that God's work in and through us will continue to increase.  Thank you for reading and sharing. God bless you!

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