…and by his wounds we are healed.
We all have scar stories.
I have a friend who proudly shows off a gash on his thumb, claiming it came from a boxing match with a bear. My pride and glory is a crescent shaped patch, ranging from bicep to forearm. While showing off the immense scar left over from a surgery to repair ligaments several years ago, I let students speculate what caused the giant wound. “Did you get stabbed?” “Did a shark attack you?”
Scars serve as outward proof and vindication of past pain and perseverance. They are indications and reminders of experiences and the lessons we, hopefully, take away from those
Christ’s wounds, however, carry deeper implications because he had no lesson to learn, no need to develop the perseverance or character we attribute to such wounds. Jesus received his
wounding on behalf of us, so that his marks would be a constant reminder of incarnated and resurrected grace. He told Thomas to place his hands in the holes that marred his hands, his side.
Paul claimed at the end of Galatians that one type of scar no longer mattered—circumcision—but now the marks of Christ born on his body are all the credentials needed. I am thankful for the fleshy scar on my arm that refuses to fade with time. It is a reminder of the deepest physical pain I ever felt. Moreover, it serves as a reminder of how the incarnated Christ took my stripes and bruises, and how his resurrected being did not hide those scars but used them as proof of his love and plan for us in resurrection.
The scars we endure now are not glossed over or hidden in resurrection; they are the indication of how much healing occurred.