Second Sunday of Easter (Apr 23rd)

Pastor's Summary of John 20:19-31

Early on Easter Day, Mary Magdalene has discovered that Jesus' body is missing from the tomb; the door is open, so it looks as thought someone has stolen it. she has seen a man standing near the tomb. When he speaks to her, she recongizes him as Jesus She has told the disiples: "I have seen the Lord".

Later the same day, Jesus joins the disciples, gathered behind locked doors. He shows them that he is the one who was crucified. Jesus confers on the disciples the peace and the Holy Spirit. As God breathed life into Adam, so Jesus now breathes the new, spiritual, life of recreated humanity into his followers. Aided by the Spirit, they continue Jesus' judicial role in the world, forgiving the sins of the faithful and holding others blameworthy for their actions. Thomas is expected to believe without having seen, but he demands: show me the evidence!  The next Sunday, the community gathers again. Upon seeing, Thomas makes the most complete affirmation of faith of anyone in the gospel.  Henceforth the faith of all Christians in all ages will rest on the testimony of the first believers.