It is amazing what a little prophesy and fulfillment can do for things. We heard on Sunday as the angels confronted the women at the tomb with the prophecy which Jesus had made. He had told them that the Son of Man had to be betrayed, killed, and rise again on the third day. They had come out to the tomb in a denial of sorts of that prophecy. He had told them that he would not be there. Why are they looking for him there? The angels seems genuinely perplexed at what they saw.
In 1906 on this date a great earthquake struck San Francisco. Sometime, but not long, before that terrible day a holiness preacher in Los Angeles named William Seymour, a one-eyed former slave, predicted that God would strike the wicked and godless cities. People started to make the connection between his prophecy and the events of April 18, 1906, and a great movement inside Christianity was born. Today Pentecostalism is one of the largest movements within Christianity, including adherents around the world.
It is amazing what a little prophecy and fulfillment can do. Jesus told them he would rise and he did. It was encountering that Jesus on a road to Damascus, risen from the dead which transformed Saul of Tarsus in to the Apostle Paul. (That reading comes up soon!) We continue, two thousand years later, to proclaim the same Jesus risen from the dead. Jesus told us he was going to do this. Thomas struggled with believing that prophecy. Don’t be surprised if you and your people also struggle with it. This week the preacher will want to count on the Word of God’s strength but also be sensitive to just how hard it is. We crave surety. I think that desire filled the pews of Seymour’s Azusa Street church. But Christ blesses the one who does not see and still believes.