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What does this mean for me? Article 5

How does Christ’s resurrection redefine your scars?

There’s a story behind every scar on your body. The scar on your shin from when you crashed your bike. The scar on the back of your head from when you bonked your head on the edge of your dad’s workbench. The scar from the heart surgery. The scar from that time you had an emergency appendectomy.

Sometimes the scars are visible. Sometimes the scars are in the deep places within that no one can see. Whatever and wherever the scars are, they are marks of a sinful world where we as children of God live. The scars are marks of Satan’s attempt to defeat us.

Jesus’ scars redefined

Two famous Latin words, Ecce Homo or “Behold the man,” identify paintings of Jesus and Pilate before a crowd crying for Jesus’ death. Pilate gestured toward Jesus announcing, “Ecce Homo” (Behold the man), to the bloodthirsty crowd. What the crowd saw was a man covered in bruises and blood, a crown of thorns, and a tattered purple robe. He was the one to bear the scars of a sinful world that hated him.

A week later, one of Jesus’ disciples would see those scars again, but this time it was different. Then Jesus invited Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27). The risen Christ showed Thomas what the sinful world had done to him, but, in those scars, Thomas would see that the worst the world could do could not defeat Jesus. Jesus showed Thomas those scars so that Thomas could see what victory over the sinful world looked like.

Our scars redefined

The apostle Paul writes that we are a people waiting for a Savior to return who “will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). Christ has everything under his control, even redefining his scars from defeat to victory. He will do the same for us.

In our baptisms, we are connected to Christ not only in his death but also in his resurrection (Romans 6:1-4). Death separates body and soul, but God promises that because of our Savior’s resurrection, we too will live a new life through him. He will reunite our bodies and our souls so that they will be like his glorious body.

What does that mean for you? I do not know what a glorified body looks like, but when I see the risen Christ redefining his own scars, I think the same will happen for you and me. The scars we bear from this sinful life will be redefined. If the physical scars remain, they will be marks that show the Lord’s care in life’s struggles. The internal scars, if they are remembered, will testify to the victory we have over every sin, anguish, disappointment, and frustration. We will be free from sin, free from death, free from tears, free from hurt, free from defeat.

As you bear the scars of living in the church militant, take comfort in Christ’s resurrection and yours. With the confidence of Christ’s victory, you can know for sure that nothing can defeat you. You are a conqueror in Christ, your risen and glorified Savior.

This is the fifth article in a six-part series on applying doctrine to your personal life. Read the  first article, second article, third article, and fourth article here. 

Author: Gregory C. Lyon
Volume 109, Number 11
Issue: November 2022

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