The Risen Christ

The Message of the Scars

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”  Luke 24: 6-7

Jesus told the disciples many times that He would be killed and then be resurrected after three days. When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, He didn’t knock at the locked door. His resurrection body was different because He did not enter the room through the door at all. He came through it or through the wall (Luke 20:19).

The disciples thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus reassured them that He was flesh and bones (Luke 24:36-40). The risen Jesus was not a ghost, not a “force,” nor a feeling. To reassure the disciples that He was the man they had known, Jesus showed them the scars in His hands, feet and side. His resurrection body had scars.

What is the message of his scars? He’s more than a man. He’s the second person of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Only the death of the sinless Son of God could atone for our sins

Jesus encouraged the disciples to study what had been written about Him in the Scriptures: “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). What is the message we’re given about Jesus Christ in the Bible? We have the Scriptures the disciples had and more—the Old and New Testaments. These Scriptures tell us Who Jesus is, why He came to earth, and what He wants us to do.

Jesus told the disciples that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached in His name to all nations. “You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:47-48). What is the message we’re given to proclaim today?  We are witnesses of the repentance and forgiveness that we’ve received in His name.

Jesus also told the disciples that He was going to send the Holy Spirit to them as the Father had promised: “But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). What is the message of this promise for us? We too are to go out clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Have you personally received these messages from the risen Christ? He still bears the scars that tell of His victory over sin and death. The Bible reveals Jesus’ identity and His mission–past, present, and future. It reveals our identity and mission too. We are His disciples and we are His witnesses. The power of the Holy Spirit has been given to us so that we might tell others of the repentance and forgiveness we’ve received.

DIG DEEPER:

Read Revelation 5:6a. How does the Apostle John symbolically describe the risen Christ? Why do you think Jesus has chosen to bear forever the scars of the crucifixion?

Read Deuteronomy 18:15-22. How did Moses describe the prophet God would send?  Compare Luke 4:24, 13:33 and John 12:49-50. How did Jesus confirm that He was this Prophet?

Read Psalm 69. What references to Jesus’ suffering on the cross do you see in these words David wrote hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth?

All of Jesus’ disciples were persecuted, put to death or exiled because of their witness. Read Matthew 10:16-28 and John 21:17-19. Have you been persecuted because of your witness, even threatened with death? What warnings and reassurances does Jesus offer us in these verses?

Nancy J. Baker

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