The Suffering Servant imagery in Isaiah 53 (starts 52:13) is about as enigmatic and ambiguous as you'll ever find. Both celebrated and condemned, the Suffering Servant is an unknown figure who may also be a composite representative of God's people who are returning from exile and enslavement in Babylon.
It makes clear (in a muddy sort of way) that common perceptions of the Suffering Servant failed to understand God's purpose in his mission. Asking the right questions completely changed the understanding of this tragic figure.
Jesus gives a commissioning to the disciples in John 20. However, the language of the text on forgiveness is dificult. (It isn't nearly as smooth as the NIV text makes it. Check out the sermon for the real meaning that likely underlies the textual difficulty.) The emphasis is clearly on forgiveness, that this is a priority for the disciples' Kingdom work.
Questions come to the fore anew as Thomas has expressed his doubt about the other disciples' report of Jesus' appearance to them in his absence. "I'll believe it when I see it," Thomas flatly asserts. He gets quite a response about a week later when Jesus suddenly appears again to answer his doubts.
Thomas came to believe as Jesus erased his doubts. However, he had the opportunity to enciounter Jesus, something that won't be available to those who doubt going forward.
That leaves us with our question for today as we seek to be faithful witnesses to the resurrection. Find out where this takes us in the sermon video and downloads below.