“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24: 38-39)
The disciples were scared. They had just witnessed their Beloved friend die a gruesome death on the cross, and now what seemed like his ghost stood before them. As thoughts ran a mile a minute through their minds, He spoke. He showed them His hands, his feet, and then ate the food set before Him.
This was God. Jesus was back.
Jesus could have done many things differently in that situation. He could have left when He saw their doubts. He could have reprimanded them. He could have ignored the doubt and fear standing in the room.
But He didn’t. He addressed their doubts and showed them the truth. He showed them His hands that had held the sin of the world. He showed them His feet that had carried the burden of mankind. He ate and showed them that He was the real deal.
Jesus saw their doubts and met them head-on with the truth.
What are your doubts today? Do you doubt in who Jesus is? Do you doubt His power in your life? Do you doubt that through Him you can conquer the darkness in which you have been living?
I used to be a serial doubter. I doubted everything. I doubted that Jesus was who He said He was. I doubted that a “dead man” could help me overcome the sin that entangled me in addiction. I doubted that Jesus would really make a difference in my life. I doubted that my life mattered, and I doubted that things in my life would ever get better. I doubted in freedom, and because of my doubt, I stayed locked in the prison.
You see, I grew up hearing about Jesus. I grew up in the church, so I “knew” who God was. But “knowing” and knowing are too different things. “Knowing” about Jesus is relying on the pictures from Sunday school. “Knowing” Jesus is putting Him in the story box. “Knowing” Jesus is passing Him off as a religious fairy tale and nothing more. “Knowing” Jesus does not bring freedom because there is no real knowledge. The Jesus I learned about in Sunday school was not the Jesus I know today.
Jesus is not a man walking around in a robe, ready to turn water into grape juice. Jesus is not just a man that happens to take a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread to feed the five thousand. Jesus is not the brown shaggy haired guy I was introduced to at the age of three. All I “knew” about Jesus was that He was a good man. The stories made me believe He was fictitious, and fiction had no power in my life.
However, “knowing” of Jesus set me up for knowing Him. It caused me to dig. It caused me to find out the facts. It caused me to look for the truth behind the Sunday school posters. I had heard that Jesus could bring freedom, but I doubted. I doubted that this paper man could really free me from my life. I doubted that He had power that could unlock the chains of my mind. I doubted that Jesus was who He said He was.
So I searched. I sought after this image, and what I found blew me away. Jesus is not just a man made famous in Sunday school. He is not just a good man. He is not powerless, and He really is the real deal. I saw that He claimed to have the power to set me free from the darkness, so I took the chance to believe. I sat as He held out His hands and His feet, the same hands and feet that took on the sin of the world and conquered death. I saw that He rose again and conquered the power of the grave. I saw that through His victory over physical death, I now have victory over spiritual death. Because of His sacrifice, I am free. Free from the power of addiction. Free from the stronghold of doubt. Free from the definitions that fight for my attention.
Through His selfless sacrifice, I get to see the beauty of life.
There is nothing beautiful about doubt. There is nothing beautiful about hopelessness. But there is everything beautiful about who Jesus is and what He has done for you and for me. Knowing, truly knowing, Jesus is what brings freedom. Knowing who He is apart from the Sunday school stories is what unlocks the chains. Knowing His sacrificial love for you is knowing what it truly means to be beautiful.
Beauty is not about what you can and can’t do. Beauty is not about how you wear your hair. Beauty is not about how much control you can gain over your body. Beauty is knowing who Jesus is and being set free from the power of this world. Beauty is all about knowing.
Verse: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)