There was a man named Thomas and often he was called Thomas the Doubter, but really he could be called “Me” or maybe “You.”
Jesus had risen from the dead and although many had seen him and believed, poor Thomas said “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25)
Well Jesus was never one to back down from a challenge of faith, so a week later, the Risen Christ again surprises the disciples. Thomas is there and Jesus obliges, “Put your finger here,” says the Risen Christ, “Do not doubt but believe.”
I’ve thought of this often on many levels.
First, why would this Risen Christ that defied death have his scars? Wouldn’t he have new twinkly angel skin?
Second, why would he use those scars and show them off like old battle wounds. Couldn’t he just pull doves from his robe and prove who he was?
Then, for me, I got it.
Those scars remained because it was his burden to die for our sins and his willingness to endure them through generations of lost people were a blessing for him to show he had paid the price.
Then just showing them wasn’t enough. He told Thomas to touch them.
In my life I’ve wandered far from the gifts he have me. I doubted in a Truth.
One day my daughter was asking me about a scar that I have across the bridge of my nose. She remembered the moment her father had slammed his fist in my face because I hadn’t cooked the dinner he wanted. She wondered why it still remained after all this time. She wondered why it happened when I didn’t deserve it. She wanted to touch it and ask if it still hurt.
Oh God you have a way of answering my doubts.
My scar that I didn’t deserve, but is there to serve as a reminder of what I did through love. I tried to show my love by doing everything right, yet I was still hurt for it. I cooked many dinners after that. I was convinced that my love would be enough.
I think now that Jesus showed his scars and asked us to touch them so we could be reminded that love led him to be hurt and he would carry them to show us that he would continue to love us past the hurt we inflict on him by doubting and wandering. We touch them to remember how great his love was for us.
A scar from love beyond our comprehension to let us get close enough to touch what forgiveness looks like.