Scars are evidence of physical traumas. I have many, like the one resulting from a deep cut in my leg by an electric saw as a teenager. All were caused by, or resulted from, accidents.
Resurrection Sunday marks the end of Holy Week, when we remember how Jesus suffered more than we can possibly know. But now he is the glorified risen Lord. His resurrection is not the end of the story! Early Sunday he rose, later appearing to ten of his disciples, there he showed them his hands and feet. (Luke 24:36-40)
A week later he again appeared to the ten, and also Thomas. John 20:26-28 records Jesus saying to Thomas. "Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe." (NET) It took no more than to see Jesus’ wounds for Thomas to declare "My Lord and my God!" In showing his scars to him Jesus showed what it cost to forgive and redeem him and us.
Approximately sixty years later in Revelation 5:6 John again speaks of Jesus's wounds, though not mentioning his hands, side nor feet. Rather, he sees a visible metaphor of "a Lamb that appeared to have been killed." (NET)
The time is coming when we too will see Jesus face to face. I doubt there will be any need for Jesus to chastise us to believe , as he did his disciples. But, will we see him with wounds as the disciples did? Or will eternity be absent of the visible cost to God that the disciples saw? There are only a few passages that make reference to the visible wounds of our risen Lord. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to consider that he will still bear his wounds when we see him.
The Gospel writers Luke and John are quite clear that Jesus did retain his wounds after he rose from the dead. Revelation 5:6 does not mention what wounds were visible on the Lamb, but the following context (5:9-12) leaves no doubt that the Lamb that appeared to be killed is Jesus.
Maybe his wounds are temporary, just long enough for all to see, possibly at the White Throne. Maybe they will be permanent for all eternity. Either way we will see him just as the disciples did nearly 2,000 years ago. We could even ask, "What does it matter whether or not we see his wounds?" It mattered to Thomas.
Perhaps Jesus will be the only being in the eternal kingdom that will have markings of suffering. But as for us, no one will be blind, walk with a limp nor be deaf. Disease, illness or even a mild cold will not exist. We will have resurrected bodies that are without any kind of imperfection. My scars, all by accident will be gone, but the scars Jesus has were not an accident. The body of Jesus may retain the signs of his suffering. His were planned. And that is what matters to me, as they are the essence of what provided me with salvation. What will you do with the nail scarred hands of Jesus?
The Union Church of Guatemala
Dr. Ralph Porter
Women's Ministry President
Union Kids Director
AM Worship Coordinator