Two favorite features on my nose are little grooves that criss cross the surface. They are barely distinguishable, but I’m proud of them. Both remind me of people I love.
One reminds me of a brother’s love and care after a screen door mishap. Since I can’t even remember it, he has always felt much worse for it than I have.
The other is from one of my closest friends. On High School Senior play night, in our acting roles, she was supposed to throw a pitcher of water on me. It got out of hand, literally, and she hauled the entire metal jug at me. In my memories of her, I still remember the unscripted shock on both our faces. My nose convincingly bled on stage, and it became one of friendship’s favorite stories.
Those scars are precious reminders of precious people.
Eight days after Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas still had not witnessed the Savior. The other ten disciples had seen Him.
Jesus talked to them. He showed them His hands and His feet, where nails had torn through His flesh, crucifying Him to a cross. But Thomas wasn’t there, so He refused to believe them.
“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails,” Thomas declared, “and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” John 20:25 ESV
After his reaction to the disciples’ pronouncement of Jesus’ resurrection, “I will never believe…unless,” I wonder how Thomas felt as the days passed and several others confirmed having seen Him. Some of Jesus’ women followers had seen Him, the two men on the Emmaus Road had been with Him, Peter saw Him, yet, for Thomas the days passed. Jesus didn’t show Himself to Thomas.
Then eight days later, still fearful of the Jews the eleven disciples, locked their doors for safety. And like Jesus’ first appearance to the ten, He suddenly stood inside the room.
“Peace be with you,” He said again.
I can picture Jesus holding out His hands, his robe falling away to see the nail scars, inviting Thomas to put his finger into them, to touch His precious scars.
“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!’” John 20:27-28 ESV
I can’t help wondering if in a holy hush of the room, the other disciples also came for a tentative caress of the seared flesh of their Master.
Those scars identified Him. They told of love and redemption. Of sacrifice and grace. Scars proved not just that He was indeed Jesus risen from the dead, but so much more. They dispelled doubt. I can’t help wondering if in a holy hush of the room, the other disciples also came for a tentative caress of the seared flesh of their Master. Click To Tweet
Jesus kept those nail and spear scars. His resurrected body didn’t erase the evidence of past pain and suffering. Precious scars confirmed what He had gone through for you, me and Thomas too.
All of us wear scars. Probably like you, I have scars which still feel tender that I don’t readily display. Unkind words, unfair acts, hurts, injuries, and grief. At times they tighten my stomach and fill my heart with sadness.
The scars I wear
The scars we wear, have purpose. They return us again and again to Jesus. To relinquish and heal. To remember and pause. To reveal Himself to us personally and intimately. They call us to recognize Who He is and what He has done for us. Scars touched by the Master represent His triumph in our lives, the resurrection of new life through Jesus.
Jesus’ precious scars had a message. “Believe,” they bid Thomas. “Believe,” our precious scars beckon to us.
Not all scars are as slight as the two tiny trails across my nose. Sometimes they are deep, ugly and distracting. Many seem anything but precious. Yet, Jesus wants to redeem them, form, and shape them for purposes more precious than what we see. He wants to provide wholeness where brokenness thrives.
Christ openly revealed scars of pain and death to confirm resurrected life. Like Thomas, we may feel it impossible that such deep scarring could ever produce anything good. We may react with unbelief, “Unless I see…I will never believe.” He wants to provide wholeness where brokenness thrives. Click To Tweet
But, in the panorama of God’s hand on our lives, scars invite faith. May we bow, before our victorious risen Savior, with every scar, and declare like Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”