Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8,9
Joy in What We Don’t See
A week after he died, Jesus appeared to his disciple, Thomas, and said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” For Thomas, seeing was believing. The proof of Jesus’ resurrection gave him peace and joy.
But we weren’t there in that room with the disciples. We haven’t seen the risen Jesus with our own eyes. How can we have the same peace, joy, and hope as those disciples?
As a person enters hospice care, waiting for the day they will breathe their last, all they can see coming is death. As a family stands at the graveside of a loved one before the urn or casket is lowered into the ground, all they can see is death. Irreversible, unchangeable death. That is if they see only with the eyes of their bodies and their reason.
But things aren’t always what they seem. When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” on the cross, it looked like all hope was finished. Any chance of him being the promised Savior was over. But the empty tomb on Easter morning proved that wasn’t the case. When Jesus’ friends went to his tomb that morning, what they didn’t see brought them hope. What they didn’t see was the body of Jesus. That’s because he was alive.
And he still lives. Because he lives, you can rejoice, even in the face of struggles. You can be confident, even in the face of death. You can be sure that because his grave is empty, yours will be empty one day too. You can trust that through Jesus’ dying and rising in your place, your guilt has been removed. Your salvation has been won. Eternal life with your God and Savior is yours. Let that truth fill you with joy that can’t be put into words.
Jesus, though I haven’t seen you with my own eyes, I believe that you live. And because you live, I know that I will too. Let this news fill me with joy in life and in death. Amen.