17 May The Scars of Jesus – Beautiful Reminders
Everyone has scars and stories to go along with those scars. Our bodies are physical journals to the life we’ve led. I can look at every scar on my body and remember how I got it and what it means to me.
This scar on my leg is a reminder to be careful and watch where you’re going. This scar on the side of my neck was a lump that a doctor told me was nothing. It turned into cancer and now this scar reminds me to pay attention to warnings. The scars across my abdomen remind me of the birth of my two beautiful sons, who were so large at birth they had to come by C-section. The scar across my neck is from cancer that led to several more scars made to save my life and repair the damage left. It reminds me that God healed me and saved my life.
We all wear our scars proudly, knowing that with every wound we are made stronger. We are survivors.
Scars are a great icebreaker in conversation. “Oh, how did you get that scar?” People are usually always happy to recount the story of how they got it.
Yes, every scar serves as a visible reminder of wounds we’ve incurred. Jesus’ body was also marked with scars. His scars tell a detailed account of his final days on earth. The stripes on his back, the nail pierced hands and feet, the deep holes all around the crown of his head as the thorns were pressed in hard, and the hole in his side, which was pierced by a sword. As painful as it is to watch movies that show His beating, torture and His crucifixion, His scars are a beautiful reminder of all He went through for us and that God is with us through all things.
We also have unseen scars. There are scars on our soul that happen from rejection, betrayal, abuse, heartbreak, and emotional pain. These scars aren’t physically seen on the outside of our bodies, but the effects of them definitely are. We can be withdrawn and shy, hateful and aggressive, angry, insecure, afraid, or mean. Our habits and behavior can also reflect the scars on our soul – addiction, alcoholism, control, abuse, obesity, and more.
Basically, we are the sum of all that has happened to us since our birth. The good news is that we can be healed. We aren’t stuck in the situation we are in. We have eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
The scars of Jesus also remind us that Jesus was fully divine and fully human. Jesus lived just like we do. He experienced life and joy, love and pain, betrayal and disappointment. He was falsely accused and tried like a common criminal. Jesus earned every scar and wanted his disciples to see his wounds, so that they could fully understand how his life serves mankind.
In John 20:19, on the night of Christ’s resurrection, the disciples were locked in a house, hiding out in fear. The risen Lord appeared to the disciples, greeted them with peace, and showed them his scars. When they saw the scars of Jesus, they began to rejoice. This was in fact their Jesus! Then Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” And what does this mean? It means we have to forgive others no matter how hard it is.
How incredible that seeing scars, which were produced by pain and suffering, provided joy and hope, and served as inspiration to the disciples to continue to share the gospel of Jesus with others so that they might be saved.
Why did Jesus still bear scars after His resurrection? Doesn’t it seem like a man who could heal the sick and raise the dead also be able to remove his own scars?
What if Jesus had appeared to the disciples without his scars? It might have made it hard for them to trust that this man was truly their risen Lord, the one who died on the cross. Now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus completely understood the human experience and all that we go through. The scars of Jesus are beautiful reminders and are significant to our faith and our relationship with the living Christ.
Thomas wasn’t among the disciples for Jesus’ first appearance, but the other disciples verified it was truly Jesus and told him about his visible scars, yet Thomas was skeptical. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe”. (John 20:25).
So Jesus appeared to them a second time and told Thomas, take your finger and put it in the nail print. Put your hand here in the wound in my side and do not be unbelieving, but believing. And when Thomas saw those scars in the glorified body of Jesus he fell to his knees and said, ‘My Lord and my God’.
Thomas’s response marks the central truth of this Gospel, as he declared, “My Lord and my God.” In this proclamation, Thomas uttered the most powerful confession of Jesus’ identity in the Gospel. Through Jesus’s scars, Thomas recognized God fully revealed in Christ, and the Word made flesh.
The scars of Jesus are on that glorified body in heaven. And when He comes again, He will bring those scars with Him. Jesus, the only person to ever look death in the face and death backed down. In fact, the only man-made thing in heaven, are the scars of Jesus. And they are there for all eternity.
So the two biggest questions people ask are ‘Who am I’ and ‘Why am I here?’
God said His name is ‘I am that I am’. Jesus said ‘I am who you say that I am’.
So who are you? If you describe yourself and all that you are, the very first thing that comes out of your mouth should be, “I am a child of God.”
When Jesus showed the disciples his scars, he was saying, “Here is my signature.” Your scars are your signature. They describe your life and all you’ve been through, but your story doesn’t end there with all that scar tissue.
When you accept Jesus as your Lord and your Savior, and you begin to live your life in Him and with Him, He begins to change you. He begins to heal you. He heals your mind from negative thinking. He molds you into His image. He helps you step out of that place in your mind where you feel defeated, like everyone is against you. He removes generational curses and frees you to change your destiny and the destiny of your entire family.
Who are you?
You are a child of the living God.
You are an heir to His eternal Kingdom.
You are a disciple of Jesus Christ.
You are united with the Lord.
You were bought with a price and you belong to God.
You are redeemed and forgiven.
You are one with God.
You are complete in Jesus Christ.
You are more than conqueror.
You are sealed by God for His Kingdom.
Your name is written in the Book of Life.
You are a temple of the Lord and Jesus resides in you.
You are God’s masterpiece.
You are a branch of the true vine who is Jesus.
You are chosen.
You are loved.
You are called to share the Word of God.
There is a place for you with Jesus in the Heavenly realm.
You are no longer a slave to fear. You are a child of God.
This is your life. This is who you are. This is your signature.
The things you’ve done in your past are still in your memory, and so we have to continue to fight our old self until we can fully realize who we are in Christ and live our life in victory.
We are never alone in our suffering. When we cry out in loneliness, so did our God. When we feel abandoned and alone, we remember that Christ hung on a cross and yelled for us, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
We don’t have a God who stands at a distance, but rather one who entered fully into the reality of our pain. So when we suffer, we know that Christ can say, “I’ve been there, and I have the wounds to prove it.”
Scar tissue serves a purpose. It is a layer that permanently covers a wound just as Jesus covers your wounds. But your scars do not define who you are in Jesus. They only serve as a beautiful reminder of the pain and suffering we went through in this life, just as Jesus experienced His own suffering and scars. He alone is glorified by our wounds, as He alone heals us, changes us, guides us and fulfills our destiny in Christ.
Christ’s scars become part of our story, and our scars become a part of God’s story in our lives. We can share with confidence what God has done for us. Instead of hiding our scars, let us testify and say, “Look and see where God has redeemed me.”
The last scar was when the guard pierced Jesus’ side with his sword. Water and blood gushed out. This was prophetic from Zechariah 13:1. “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.”
The fountain is the side of Jesus where he was pierced and water and blood rushed out. This is the fountain that washes away all sin and impurity. Hallelujah! When His death was confirmed, His fountain poured out over all mankind to forgive us and redeem us.
So now we know who we are in Christ, but why are we here?
Isaiah 43:6-7 says, “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.” You were created for the glory of God. You were created to live, and display for all to see what God has done for you. Satan would have you think this is some kind of cruel joke. That you have had to suffer and go through all you’ve gone through just so God can be glorified. As if he’s some kind of egomaniac in the sky. The truth is that God sent His Son to save us and Jesus suffered right along side of us. The human experience is not easy, but I can testify that if you surrender your life to Christ, walk with Him through every situation, trust in Him to provide for you and deliver you, believe in Him even in the face of fear, you will be rewarded and you will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
Church is full of the most broken people I have ever seen. There is scar tissue all over the place. It is also the place where God is most fully on display as He is glorified by a grateful people; people who have been saved, people who have been healed, people who have been delivered, and blessed, and rescued. We sing, we praise, we worship and we lift hands and all this love attracts others.
And now we are all called to tell the world about Jesus and all He has done for us. We exist to help others know the way, the truth and the life that is Jesus. We demonstrate our faith in our lives by our behavior in front of people and behind closed doors, the way we handle situations and pressure, the way we raise our kids, do our job, the way we worship, and the way we forgive and love others.
When Jesus appeared to His disciples to show them His scars, it sealed his bond to us for all eternity through His journey as both man and God and our journey as redeemed children of God.
John saw it all finished in his vision in Revelation when he said, “‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’” (Rev. 5:12).
I find it infinitely comforting that the wounded Jesus is the key to all things and the one worthy of all Heaven’s praise. In the immense holiness of God’s presence, the wounds of Jesus are visible.
I am who I am and you are who you are. I am a child of the Living God and you are a child of the Living God. We were created to worship and serve a loving God and live in eternity with the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.
This is who we are, scars and all, and this is why we are here. We are all beautiful reminders of the infinite love of God.