But he (Thomas) said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe." (John 20:25b)
Read John 20:24-28
As a carpenter and builder, Jesus would have known the use of nails. Nails were expensive; if a wooden peg would do instead, no doubt that is what He used. But for some jobs, only iron would do.
But now the tools of His trade were being used against Him. The hammer, the nails -- two spikes, really, driven into His wrists at the base of the hand. There they were strong enough to support the weight of His body. There they did impossible damage to the delicate bones and tendons of His hands. And the pain!
After His death, the nails would have been removed. But the marks remained.
Why? Why would Jesus choose scars to last through His death and resurrection? Those marks are visible even now (see Revelation 5:6). They are an eternal reminder of what it cost God to rescue us from Satan, death, and hell. No one can look on them and say, "It was easy for Him."
But even more important, they are the marks of His love. They are the message of His loving-kindness, written into His very flesh, saying,
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are Mine....
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior" (Isaiah 43:1b, 3a)
And when we recognize Him just as Thomas did, by the nail marks in His hands, we respond with joy:
"Behold, this is our God;
we have waited for Him, that He might save us.
This is the Lord;
we have waited for Him;
let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation." (Isaiah 25:9b)
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus. We see the marks of Your love and we rejoice. Amen.
Are scars beautiful or ugly? Why do you think so?
Do you have scars of your own you would choose to keep? If you are willing, tell the story.
How can Christians rejoice in Jesus' scars, especially when knowing what suffering they cost Him?
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