“See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see…” Luke 24:38
Permanent scars. Those physical, and sometimes physiological, reminders of a past hurt. My 11 year old son wears his scars like badges of honor now. He will gladly tell you the story behind each and every scar: flying over his handlebars, drilling his finger, discovering that spiderman crawls up bookcases lead to staples in your head. But at the time of the injuries, he would have given anything to have avoided the pain that resulted in said scar.
As I am writing a lesson from Luke 24 where Jesus appears to His disciples following His resurrection, I can’t help but think about the permanent scars Jesus Himself has. Permanent scars on His hands, feet and side.
As the perfect Creator and Restorer, surely Jesus could have resurrected Himself without scars. How many of us long for the day when we will have fully restored bodies? However, Jesus rose from the dead, scars and all. A friend asked me recently why I thought the scars on Jesus’ hands, feet and side are the only ones mentioned in the Bible. Surely Jesus was covered in deep gashes and would have been virtually unrecognizable as He hung on the cross. He would have had scars on His head from the crown of thorns, and scars all over His back from the flogging He received, along with countless other scars. And yet, the only ones mentioned after His resurrection were the hands, feet and side.
The scars He received from the soldiers beatings and humiliation were temporary and short lived, but the scars He willingly received to pay the price for our sin, have left an eternal mark on our perfect Savior.
The scars remind us that although nails were driven in His hands and feet, it was not the nails that kept Jesus on the cross. Jesus had total power over the wind and sea, over demons and death, over sickness and disease. The One who could speak a word and stop a storm, had complete power over some nails and a cross of wood. Yet, He chose to stay on that cross to save us from sin and death.
The nails were not the true cause of the scars on Jesus’ hands. It was His unfathomable love for us that has left permanent scars on the precious hands and feet of our King.
The scar on His side where He was “pierced for our transgressions” reminds us that the Son of God from whom “blood and water followed” willingly chose to lay down His life to save ours.
Jesus allowed Himself to be eternally scarred because of His immeasurable love for us. As the nails pierced His hands, The Father engraved the names of each believer onto His Son’s palms. Those who have trusted in Jesus, are permanently etched into the Savior. We are His and He is ours.
Jesus paid the highest price for His children. He chose to endure unimaginable pain because He loved us so much. He chose to wear scars for eternity to remind us that we are precious to Him and worth the price He paid for us.
I wonder: will we get to touch His scars in heaven? Does He reach out with His scarred hand and touch our scars, reassuring us that He can heal and restore, while leaving the scar as a reminder of what He has done in our lives?
Jesus knows what it means to be scarred. He loves you more than you can imagine and He longs to heal the hurt that has scarred you. The scar may last forever, but with Jesus as your Savior, your scar will become a reminder of the beauty Jesus can bring from brokenness.
May we see our scars in light of Jesus’ love. And may we be permanently changed because of the scars that mar our Savior’s hands and feet.