Home> The Lower Lights> August 2004

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  Alan Jones, Editor

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"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 4                                                                       August 2004                                                                                      No2 

 

LOOKING AT THE SCARS OF JESUS

 

Thomas couldn’t believe that Jesus was alive.  The other apostles said that they had seen the Lord. But, Thomas said, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”  Soon he had the chance to see this evidence of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  Jesus told him, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving.”  Upon examination of Jesus’ scars, he said, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:24-28)

 Thomas and the rest of the apostles and hundreds of other witnesses (1 Cor 15:6) gave their testimony of Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 4:33), their testimony was confirmed by miracle (Heb 2:4), and men and woman around the world who did not see Jesus’ scars became believers.  Their testimony continues to convince men to believe in the 21st century.

If we, through the eyes of faith, look at the scars of Jesus, here are a few of the many things we come to understand: 

Humanity of Jesus:  Jesus’ scars show us that He did share with us in flesh and blood.  He became like us so that He could be tempted, and, after resisting temptation, His hands and feet could be nailed to the cross for the forgiveness of our sins (Heb 2:14-18).

Humility of Jesus:  It is hard to comprehend that One who existed in the form of God in heaven would lower Himself to the form of a bondservant and be obedient to death, even death on a cross.  

 

But the scars of Jesus prove that indeed Jesus was that humble (Phil 2:5-8)!

Heart of God:  What would cause the all-powerful Father to allow cruel man to crucify His only Son?  There is no other explanation for the scars on Jesus’ hands and feet and in his side other than “God so loved the world, the He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

Horror of Sin:  We may say, “So, I disobeyed God’s commands, what’s the big deal?”  But, the scars of Jesus show us that sin is a big deal.  The scars of Jesus show us the penalty that Jesus had to pay for our sins, so that God would be just to forgive us- “He Himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet 2:24).

Hope of Heaven:  When Thomas saw Jesus’ scars, he saw wounds that were healed.  Though He bled and died, He was alive and well.  Because He rose again, conquered death, and then went to heaven, He gives the Christian every confidence they can do the same- God “caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

No wonder Jesus said that His crucifixion would draw all men to Him (Jn 12:32-33)!  Have you been drawn?   If not,  meditate for a while on the meaning of Jesus’ scars.  How can you not be His disciple?

WHY DID YOU WATCH YOUR SON DIE?

You watch as the police arrest your son without making any charge against him.  The police easily found him and arrested him out of the public eye because one of your son’s best friends betrayed him and became a police informant.  Though you see your son being arrested, you do nothing to stop it.

            The police take your son straight to court, though it is the middle of the night.  Many, even the judge, trump charges up against him and he is condemned as guilty.  Your son is then whisked off to a higher court that has the power to hand out the death penalty.  A cowardly judge tries to escape passing judgment on your son’s case by transferring him to another court, but your son is sent back to him.  You watch while many false statements are made concerning your son.  Your son is made fun of, humiliated, and spit on.  Your son is beaten within an inch of his life.  By not long after breakfast time, the judge sentences your son to death for a crime he did not commit.  There is no appeal and the sentence will be carried out immediately.  Though you see all these unjust proceedings, you do nothing to intervene to save your son from death.

            The capital punishment for your son is not to be the electric chair or lethal injection.  Your son is in a society that gives no thought to being “humane” to criminals.  You watch as soldiers  hammer  nails  into  your  son’s  hands

 

and feet, fastening them, arms outspread, onto a cross of wood.  Your child’s cross is then raised and planted in the ground.  His slow death begins.  Two actual criminals are crucified with your son, adding to his shame.  A crowd gathers to watch your child die and several continue to verbally abuse your son.

            Your son cries to you for help and asks you why you have forsaken him.  You do nothing to help him.  You watch him suffer in extreme pain.  He becomes so dehydrated that he tells soldiers standing by the cross of his thirst.  You see him take a small sip of relief.  You continue to observe your son pulling himself up against the nails to gasp for breath until he becomes too weak to do so and he dies.

            You are God.  You created the universe.  You destroyed the world with a flood.  You turned Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes. Yet, you watched Your Son die and did nothing.  WHY?!!   “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)

“Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Tho’ stretched from sky to sky”- F.M. Lehman



 

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