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I’m finishing up this blog post on Good Friday, it’ll be published tomorrow, Saturday, at 4:55am, and the next day will be Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
Someone recently pointed something out to me that I’d never thought about before. Jesus’ resurrected body was badly scarred. He was blindfolded and beaten while they mocked him saying: “Prophecy! Who hit you?” They forced the thorny crown upon his skull. They flogged him. They made him carry the horizontal part of his own cross. Then they nailed him to that cross. Finally they stabbed him in the side with a spear.
So yes, he suffered unimaginable physical torment, and yes, his body bore a variety of terrible scars as a result. And yes, he bore those scars on his body post resurrection. I’ve even heard it suggested he was so damaged physically, this could be the reason people were slow to recognize him after he rose from the dead. We can be sure Jesus’ resurrected body was scarred because Jesus himself mentions his scars when he says to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side.” (John 20:26-28)
On the face of it, this doesn’t make sense to me. After all Jesus had been through, doesn’t it seem like God should have given Jesus a perfect body after his resurrection?
Sometimes after I’ve endured something hard, I feel like I deserve a reward.
So after what Jesus endured, shouldn’t he be rewarded with a scar free body?
When I think like that, I have a problem, and my problem is God doesn’t make mistakes. His way is of course always the best way. And when I really use my imagination and think about those scars. When I go deep inside myself and envision meeting Jesus in heaven, in person, face to face, I have to admit, seeing those scars will have a profound impact on me. Just thinking about those scars right in this moment is having a profound impact on me.
Those scars are from the brutal suffering Jesus endured because of me and my sin. And because of you and your sin too.
Those scars say Jesus loves me without Jesus even uttering one word.
Those scars are a part of who Jesus is now.
And he’s more Christlike with those scars than he would be without them.
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