In the classic poem The Odyssey, when Odysseus returns home disguised as an old man, his family doesn’t know him. Then his childhood nurse sees a scar she remembers from when he was a baby. Until then, even she doesn’t recognise him. When Thomas heard Jesus was alive, he said, ‘...I will not believe it until I…put my finger where the nails were...’ Jesus’ scars were proof-positive He’d been crucified and resurrected. When Thomas checked them out for himself, he responded, ‘My Lord and my God!’ (John 20:28 NIV) It’s the first time Scripture records a disciple directly addressing Jesus as God, and it came in response to seeing His scars.
We all have scars. Dr Will Willimon says, ‘I’ve a friend who spent…his life in an orphanage. His mother took him there as a...boy... left him out under a big cedar tree, told him she’d return that afternoon, but didn’t. He’s now middle-aged. One day I was to meet him for lunch and I was late… I found him in a state of agitation, pacing about, perspiring, visibly upset… Later he said, “I can’t help it. I get bent out of shape when a friend is late, because my mother kept me waiting… and never returned.” He was all grown up…but he still had scars…’ You’ve got your scars, some visible, some invisible, some more visible with age. The Risen Christ also has scars to prove His love for you. If you don’t know Him or, like Thomas, if you aren’t sure you believe, He’ll show you His scars ‘...that you may believe…and…by believing you may have life in His name.’ (John 20:31 NIV)