The Lower Lights> August 2004|
Alan Jones, Editor
"Brightly beams our
From the lighthouse
But to us He gives the
Of the light along the
Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box
86-233, Westland, MI 48186
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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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