The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/29

Posted on | June 29, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/29

Scripture reading: Isaiah 49:14–16

The Wounded Healer

He showed them his hands and his side. (John 20:20)

When Jesus rose from the dead his glorified body was perfect in every way. Old things had passed away. All things had become new. And yet the scars remained prominent in that beautiful body of Christ. The gouging marks left by the nails in his hands and feet and the jagged tear made by the spear in his side were manifest for all to see. The Father had not “healed” the scars so that the marks were gone, and Jesus certainly made no attempt to cover the wounds so that his disciples did not have to see the injuries done to his body. Those scars were permanent and intended for us to see.

What is it about those scars? When we get scars in our bodies, our tendency is to cover the ugly place in shame, to hide the disfigurement so that others are not shocked and embarrassed. How different the scars of Jesus! The first thing he did when he saw his disciples on that first Easter morning was to show them his scars. And ever since that moment, the church has had a love affair with the wounds of Christ. We preach sermons and sing hymns about those wonderful scars. We meditate on the wounds. Why? Because these scars speak. With an eloquence that transcends the power of words to convey, the wounds of Christ announce the Gospel of salvation.

They tell us how much God loves us. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us (I John 3:16). Whenever you are tempted to doubt God’s love for you, just look again at those scars. Nothing speaks more forcefully of the vast and inexhaustible riches of grace than those wounds!

They remind us of Jesus’ present ministry of intercession. Ascended to the right hand of God, today Jesus is interceding for you (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). Your name is engraved on the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16). Those wounds plead to the Father on your behalf. Charles Wesley expressed it so well when he wrote: Five bleeding wounds He bears, received on Calvary; They pour effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me: “Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry, “Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

They give sober testimony to the cost of discipleship. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first (John 15:18). It was in the act of showing his nail-pierced hands that Jesus sent his followers into the world, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). To follow Christ is to walk the way of the cross. As Amy Carmichael put it: “Can he have followed far who hast no wound or scar?”

They give us hope that our scars, too, can be transformed! We all have wounds of one form or another. We’ve been hurt. The Gospel declares there is no wound so deep that the grace of God cannot heal it. Though the scar may remain, God can transform what was once an ugly symbol of shame into a badge of glory!

If your God has no scar, then you are worshiping the wrong god!

[Jesus] took the worst thing that could happen
to him—the cross—and turned it into the
best thing that could happen to the world—
redemption. If you can take the worst and turn
it into the best, you know how
—E. Stanley Jones

point to ponder • Are there scars in your life? What is God doing to transform those scars into marks of beauty?

prayer focus • Give thanks for the scars on the glorified body of Jesus.

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