(Jerusalem. Sunday evening)
b MARK 16:14; c LUKE 24:36-43; d JOHN 20:19-25.
d 19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus c himself d came and stood in the midst, c of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they beheld a spirit. [His entrance through a bolted door lent weight to their idea that he had no corporeal body. They knew nothing of the possibilities of a resurrected body.] b and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart [here, as in the previous section, Jesus shows that the heart has much to do with the belief], because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. [They had had the testimony of three men and perhaps a half dozen women; they had not lacked evidence.]
40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. d and his side. [These members not only showed that he was not a disembodied spirit, but they served to identify his body with that which they had seen crucified, and hence the person who now spoke was the Jesus whom they had known and lost.]
23 whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. [Now that the apostles knew their Master, he repeats his blessing, and as the New Testament is now sealed in his blood according to the commission under which he came, he, in turn, commissions the twelve to go forth and proclaim its provisions. Symbolic of the baptism which they were to receive at Pentecost, he breathes upon them, and, having thus symbolically qualified them, he commissions them to forgive or retain sin, for this was the subject-matter of the New Testament.]
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. [The apostles had undoubtedly seen and talked with someone, but the question was, Who? They said that it was Jesus, and Thomas, holding this to be impossible, thought that it must have been someone else whom they mistook for Jesus. But he would not be deceived; he would thoroughly examine the wounds, for these would identify Jesus beyond all doubt--if it were Jesus.]