Monday, February 15, 2010

See the Scars

{John 20:24-29; ESV}
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 The phrase, “Jesus died for our sins,” rolls off our tongues with tremendous ease.  Many of us have been taught this truth since we were very little.  It is something that we accept, and something we take for granted.
I often wonder what Jesus went through when he died.  We know from Scriptures that it was not something that he was looking forward to doing.  He asked His Father to provide another way, because Jesus knew that it was going to be a terrible time.
I believe that Jesus sacrifice on the cross was something that we will never fully understand this side of Heaven.  We can take about the physical aspects of flogging and crucifixion all day and still not fully understand what Jesus went through the day He gave Himself to be crucified. 
This passage in John reveals to us an interesting aspect about Jesus’ resurrected body.  Thomas was able to see and touch the scars.  There was still and hole in his side from the spear, and holes in his wrist from the nails.  Jesus’ resurrected body was not free from these scars Jesus received from dying for you and me.
There is an verse in Revelation 5 that goes along with this passage in John; And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth (Revelation 5:6; ESV).
The distinguishing feature about this Lamb was that it looked as if it had been slain.  Think about the fact that the Lamb, which is a symbol for Jesus, had the looked like it had been killed.  Something about His appearance made John imagine that He had been killed

When Jesus appeared to the disciples He bore the scars of His death.  When John sees Jesus as the Lamb, John makes a note His appearance, that he bore the marks of death.
It is my belief  that Jesus will bear the marks of His crucifixion for eternity.  Every time that we look at them we will be reminded of the Love God has for us and the sacrifice that Jesus went through to show us that Love.
Pause and try to imagine what it cost Jesus to secure the salvation of the Church.  I don’t know if we can every truly imagine the price God paid for us to have eternal life, but perhaps the thought of Jesus bearing our scars for eternity will give us a tiny bit of perspective on the issue.

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