← back to list

Apr 11, 2021

The Week After Easter

The Week After Easter

Passage: John 20:19-31

Speaker: Andrew Kerhoulas

Series: General Topic

Keywords: resurrection, belief, doubt, profession of faith, belief in action

This worship service will call our attention to the original Sunday after Easter to help us grapple with our own. We'll hear the story of a most famous skeptic turned faithful follower of the risen Christ. Thomas' doubt is echoed ad nauseum in our age of skepticism. But his grand profession of faith can be on our lips as well in the age of the Spirit.

Readings & Scripture

PRELUDE: Nickel Creek - Doubting Thomas

PREPARATION: Psalm 139:7-12 & Ephesians 1:15-23
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

MESSAGE: The Week After Easter

CENTRAL TEXT: John 20:19-31
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” 24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this

PRAYER: John Stott (The Westminster Collection) Andrew
ALL: Lord Jesus, risen from the dead and alive forevermore: stand in our midst [today] as in the upper room; show us your hands and your side; speak your peace to our hearts and minds; and send us forth into the world as your witnesses, for the glory of your name. Amen.

We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.

He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen.


  • Joshua 1:9
  • John 11:1-3
  • Romans 8:11, 23
  • Eph 1:13-14
  • 2 Cor 1:22,23, 5:5
  • 1 Peter 1:8
  • 1 John 3:19-24



  1. What is Christian belief according to this passage?
  2. What are some symptoms of doubt in your life? For instance, if you are a praying person, how might doubt affect your prayers? How might it surface in your work? Your family life? Etc.
  3. What did Jesus do for Thomas that moved him from ardent skepticism to this deep profession of faith? Was it something he said? 
  4. What has Jesus done for us to move us from doubt into belief? What power did he leave us to that end?
  5. What does belief in the risen Christ do for you? What should belief in the risen Christ do through you?


  • “It is possible that it was the words of Jesus more than anything that brought conviction, for they showed that Jesus [had been] perfectly aware of what Thomas had laid down as his demands. How did he arrive at this knowledge unless he [had been with Thomas], unseen?” - Leon Morris
  • “When you think about it, the quality of the church's life together is evidence for the truthfulness of the resurrection. The most eloquent testimony to the reality of the resurrection is not an empty tomb or a well-orchestrated pageant on Easter Sunday but rather a group of people whose life together is so radically different, so completely changed from the way the world builds a community, that there can be no explanation other than that something decisive has happened in history. The tough task of interpreting the reality of a truth like the resurrection is not so much the scientific or historical, "How could a thing like that happen?" but the ecclesiastical and communal, "Why don't you people look more resurrected?" - Will Willimon
  • “To listen to the plans of some, after the pandemic we are returning to a world of parties and rejoicing. This is true. Parties have their place. Let us not close all paths to happiness. But we are also returning to a world of hatred, cruelty, division and a thirst for power that was never quarantined...As we leave the tombs of quarantine, a return to normal would be a disaster unless we recognise that we are going back to a world desperately in need of healing. For me, the source of that healing is an empty tomb in Jerusalem. The work that Jesus left his followers to do includes showing compassion and forgiveness and contending for a just society. It involves the ever-present offer for all to begin again.” - Esau McCaulley 
  • “The peace of God is first and foremost peace with God; it is the state of affairs in which God, instead of being against us, is for us. No account of God’s peace which does not start here can do other than mislead.” - J.I. Packer
  • “The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” - C.S. Lewis
  • “On the face of it, believing and questioning are antithetical. Yet I believe that they go hand in hand. One nourishes the other.” - Shusaku Endo, Silence
  • “He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those others His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognized as finally annulled.” - Athanasius, 318 AD



  • The Secular Creed: “If the ‘we believe’ format and propositions sound familiar, that’s because they are. It’s a creed, albeit a secular one, without reference to transcendent moral authority, whether divine or historical.” (podcast by The Gospel Coalition)
  •  Barnabus Piper on “Why Doubt Is Not The Enemy Of Faith” (video)
  • Doubting Thomas” by Nickel Creek (song)