Is he real?
Spray-painted silver from head-to-toe, the man stood frozen behind sunglasses. He could see our eyes, but we couldn’t see his. “Is he a real man?” asked my five-year-old, Eli.
I testified that he was … and we all stared – looking for any sign of life.
A crowd gathered around the statuesque figure at the fair; and we all watched and waited … Not a muscle moved … until Eli couldn’t rely on my words any longer. Eli slipped through the crowd, and before I knew what his plan was, I saw it unfold: He reached out and squeezed the man’s finger.
Eli jumped back with a shock and fright. Eyes big, mouth open, body stiff …
“He’s REAL!” Eli shouted. He had felt the flesh of the man’s hands, and couldn’t hold back the announcement.
Again, I confirmed that he was. I had already told Eli the answer, but now he knew for himself. He knew with a surety.
It reminds me of Thomas, who had heard the good news from his fellow disciples. They told Thomas that Christ was resurrected, that they had seen him and felt his hands. I’m not sure if they told Thomas how during this knowledge-gaining experience, “they were terrified and affrighted” (Luke 24:37).
To their testimony, Thomas replied, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). And perhaps when Thomas couldn’t wait any longer, even eight days later, that’s when Christ returned to his disciples. That’s when Christ granted Thomas’ desire and beckoned him to, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).
Now Thomas knew for himself. The disciples had told him, but now he knew with a surety … and he too went to work sharing the good news. As a special witness of Christ, Thomas traveled as far as India to testify of the Savior.
During this lifetime, each of us will ask, “Is He real?” We can rely on the testimony of others for a time – and that’s good! – and then at some point, we must slip through the crowd and reach out, to feel for ourselves. For we know that He is always there, reaching our reaching; yes, “his hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 10:4). And though we won’t have a tangible finger to grasp, we can feel Him through the feelings of the Spirit. *and I think it’s notable that shock and even fright can occur when discovering His actuality. To realize His reality can flush our minds with all that this fact means!
Then, once we obtain our own knowledge of His existence, we can follow the examples of believers around us – and share the good news! He IS real! It is a message that changes the eternities. It shapes the lives and souls of anyone who has ever lived, or who will ever live. It is simply the best news ever: He lives!
Have you had a similar experience? Please share! … and please share this post with others! 🙂