Reconciled unto Christ, Part 2

Given the enormity of Christ’s claims, it is natural to doubt. Even after His resurrection, and meeting with the surviving 11 disciples, some of them continued to doubt: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, unto the end of the world. Amen.” (RE Matt. 13:4)

Those words, “but some doubted” describe more than the 11 who “saw him” and even “worshipped him.” It also describes us, at least from time to time.

What Christ next said was in response to their doubt: “All power is given unto” Him. This authority and power extends both “in Heaven and on earth.” We do not need to doubt. He reiterated His claim, and reassures us of His authority to rescue us.

Good news is sometimes more difficult to accept than bad news. In this world where there is continual insufficiency, ongoing struggles, disappointments from people we relied on to our injury, and conflicts even with those we love, we are used to bad news. We expect illness, even eventual death.

So when the Lord tells us good news our doubts rush in. Some of the disciples saw the resurrected Christ before others. One of the last was Thomas, who refused to accept the testimony of his fellow disciples. He said he could not believe without seeing, even feeling the injuries the Lord received in the crucifixion. Thomas is an important figure for us because of his skepticism. Almost all of us share that with Thomas.

Christ met with Thomas and said to him (about us): “Then says he to Thomas, Reach here your finger and behold my hands, and reach here your hand and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus says unto him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 11:4)

Thomas was so very human. So very like us all. We are asked to believe, even if we have not seen. We are asked to accept the testimony of others, like Thomas. When we do we are called “blessed” by the Lord for that belief in Him.

Not only Thomas, but also Paul (at the time Saul) testified of Christ: “And it came to pass that as I made my journey, and had come near unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from Heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? And I answered, Who are you, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute. And they that were with me saw indeed the light and were afraid, but they heard not the voice of him that spoke to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise and go into Damascus, and there it shall be told you of all things which are appointed for you to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.” (Acts 12:15)

The Brother of Jared also encountered the Lord: “the Lord shewed himself unto him and said, Because thou knowest these things, ye are redeemed from the Fall. Therefore, ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I shew myself unto you. Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life; and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name. And they shall become my sons and my daughters. And to none of those now living whom I created have I appeared, for none have believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.” (Ether 1:13)

Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon assured us: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: that he lives. For we saw him, even on the right hand of God, and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father, that by him, and through him, and of him the worlds are made and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (T&C 69:5)

I too can testify that He lives, for He has ministered to me, and He has (and does) keep His promise: “And behold, I am with you always, unto the end of the world.”

It is good news. But is good news that ought to be accepted, because it is true. Christ is the Son of God who came into the world to rescue us from despair, sin and death. Doubt not, but be believing.