Breakthrough is the moment when everything changes. The old categories are shattered, and a whole new paradigm is born.
And the greatest breakthrough in all of history is when Jesus rose from the dead. It shatters the old categories and gives birth to a whole new paradigm.
In this passage form John 20:19-31, we explore a 4-dimensional breakthrough from Jesus’ resurrection.
Breakthrough Resurrection: Jesus’ resurrected body broke through all the disciples’ categories. Neither Greco-Roman nor Jewish thought had categories for the kind of resurrection we see here in Jesus. This is important for two reasons. First, it explains their incredulity—the disciples were totally unprepared for this, and it took them a while to adjust. Second, it explains why they couldn’t have made up this story, because they didn’t have a frame of reference for this type of event. Will you allow Jesus to break your categories? We all have our categories for how a god ought to be, and we’ll believe when he fits our preconceived ideas. Of course, then we usually end up with a god who looks strikingly like ourselves and affirms the life we are already living. But Jesus breaks through our reductionistic categories. In fact, breaking our categories is the only what you know we’re encountering the real, living God, and not just some figment of our imaginations.
Breakthrough Blessings: Because the resurrected Jesus is alive forevermore, His blessings in this passage are breakthrough blessings greater and more powerful than any He had previously given. There are four blessings: peace, sending, spirit, and authority. The point of all these breakthrough blessings is that Jesus’ mission will go on through his disciples by the Holy Spirit. This mission continues today in all those who believe. We are Jesus’ ambassadors, emissaries, and representatives. Will you join Jesus on mission in the world?
Breakthrough Confession: Thomas did not at first believe in the resurrection. In fact, his initial reticence earned him the name Doubting Thomas. But when Jesus shows up in the flesh, Doubting Thomas becomes Believing Thomas when he confesses “My Lord and my God!” This confession is like a theological earthquake; it’s the highest Christological confession in the Gospel of John. And it wasn’t just an academic confession, it was deeply personal. Jesus is risen as the Divine Lord of all. Doubting is not the opposite of faith, because doubting may actually be where faith begins. Will you invite Jesus into your doubts? Have you ever prayed your doubts and asked God to help?
Breakthrough Opportunity: Jesus blesses those who will come to believe, but who unlike Thomas, will not have the benefit of seeing the resurrected Jesus first-hand. Jesus offers life in Himself to all who will believe. Will you dare to believe in Jesus?