Doubt, Grief, Fear

The resurrection narrative in John chapter 20 gives us a picture of our common humanity.

Mary of Magdala is filled with grief, sorrow, heartbreak, mourning and angst. 

The disciples are filled with fear. Huddled behind locked doors, they dread the anticipation that they are next in line for torture and death. They are terrified. 

Thomas, notoriously, is filled with doubt, skepticism. 

I cannot fault any of them. I know the crushing, seemingly unending, heartache of bereavement. Crippling fear and anxiety have plagued me most of my life. At times, I have doubted everything – God, my own existence – everything. 

To one degree or another, fear, doubt, and sorrow are common to all of us.

However, for a human to live in perpetual grief, unrelenting fear, or continuous existential agnosticism, is emotional torture. A broken spirit, who can bear? 

Then comes Jesus.

He speaks her name: “Mary!” Inside her, hope leaps to life. Mourning and grief dissolve. Joy floods her heart; she clings tightly to Him as if to say, “You’ll never get away from me again!”

He greets His apprentices. “Shalom!” Perfect, altruistic, divine, self-sacrificial, enemy-forgiving, unconditional, agapé cruciform love fills the room. He breathes into them. Perfect love casts our fear. 

He welcomes Thomas: “Touch me.”  Faith saturates his soul. On his face, he confesses the deity of Christ. Doubt is not the opposite of faith – it is a healthy sign of a thinking mind. Refusal to believe in spite of evidence is the opposite of faith. Once Thomas had evidence, he confessed Jesus and Lord and God. 

He speaks; He breathes; He touches. 

He imparts faith, hope, and love to loved ones in doubt, grief and fear. 

Faith, hope, love – three unending, abiding, eternal things.

The grace of faith dispels doubt.

The grace of hope dispels grief.

The grace of love dispels fear.

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist Jesus Freak Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, husband, father, grandfather

Posted on April 24, 2019, in apologetics, Bible, Bible Teaching, bodily resurrection, Christianity, creation, Jesus, Kingdom Life, kingdom of God, parables, Prayer, Prophecy, Spirituality, Theodicy. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Deni DeBellas

    Put me on your list!! Love hearing from you.

    Like

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