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  Opinion   Oped  27 Apr 2017  Mystic Mantra: Keep the faith

Mystic Mantra: Keep the faith

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a founder-member of the Parliament of Religions, can be contacted at frdominic@gmail.com
Published : Apr 27, 2017, 7:02 am IST
Updated : Apr 27, 2017, 7:02 am IST

Having doubts about God and life after death is neither new nor strange.


The New Testament describes several instances of Jesus appearing to his disciples from the third day after he was laid to rest in the grave. His disciples in their wildest dreams had neither expected their master’s crucifixion, nor the happenings after his death.

Their crucified Lord and Master continued to be in communication with them, leaving them in utter shock, surprise and doubt. The women who were the first ones to reach the grave reported to the men, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have put him”. 

None of them imagined that after such a terrible tragedy, something worse was awaiting them — the body being stolen. 

The angel’s pronouncement from the grave, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee…” was totally incomprehensible to them.

The gospels similarly describe another occurrence where two disciples were walking to Jerusalem when Jesus came and joined them but they could not recognise him. Yet another interesting event took place with Thomas. When told by other disciples that they had seen the Lord, he refused to believe and put a stern condition, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

The gospel tells us that eight days later Jesus did oblige him and said, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

If the disciples who had lived with Jesus, heard and seen all that he had done were filled with doubts about his resurrection, it is no surprise that many even today find it difficult to believe and accept that Jesus actually overcame death. The Christians therefore have strong faith in the fact that death, which still remains a mystery for us humans, is not the end of everything. They firmly believe that there is life, though in an altogether different form from our present form, after death. Jesus’ resurrection is the primary belief on which Christian faith is founded.

Having doubts about God and life after death is neither new nor strange. The key to our doubts, however, lies in our faith. 

Interestingly, the conversation between Jesus and the “doubtful Thomas” ends with Jesus telling him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” 

Tags: jesus, christian, god