From the Pastor…
When I had my knee replacement surgery it left a seven inch scar and took 50 metal staples to hold the skin together. It’s also ugly. The doctor told me that it will eventually fade and disappear. On Good Friday Jesus’ body was also covered with scars. His back had scars from being whipped 39 times, a crown of thorns left their mark on his forehead, there were spikes driven through each of his hands and feet, and for good measure a spear was shoved through his side to make sure he was dead. It all must have looked pretty ugly.
What’s interesting though is that after the resurrection, Jesus’ scars were still there! When Thomas doubts his resurrection Jesus shows him his scars and even invites him to touch his wounds. Why didn’t they disappear with his resurrection? Because they are now the marks of victory, not defeat. Though once dead (the scars verify that), he now lives. That high point of his life and work is forever imprinted in his hands.
On Good Friday I would invite you to pause and look at your own hands. How much of your own life’s history can you read there? What stories are written on your hands- the scars, the callouses (or their absence), the bent fingers (or their absence), the hang nails, the rings on the fingers (or their absence), the finger-joints, the wrinkles, the moles, the visible veins.
When Jesus puts his life into his Father’s hand, it is a prelude to his offering that life to us, handing it over to us. He offers us his hand, encouraging us to clasp his in ours, but with one significant difference. Our scars signal the mortality still ahead of us. His scars have death already behind them.
Can that really be swapped when he offers his scared hand to us? Jesus says it can.
In Christ’s Love,