Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hast Thou No Scar?

            After our first session at The Cove, I knew God needed my full attention. The whole idea of testing and examining my relationship with Christ caused me to pause. I truly felt He had brought me to this beautiful place to settle into who He was. I could sense my hunger rising.

            As Dallas and I walked the trails and breathed in the clean, crisp mountain air, all our tension and anxiety began to dissipate. About every twenty or so feet on the trail there would be a scripture plague to savor. Dallas and I felt God needed us to rest in him and continue to eat the fruit of the Spirit that the speaker would continue to offer.

Philippians 3:10 “. . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, . . . ”

            Know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.

            That’s a lot to process.

            Knowing Jesus is one thing. Understanding His miraculous, powerful resurrection is another. But to fellowship in suffering . . . well, that’s insufferable. How can I even begin to find fellowship in Jesus’ sufferings? When I think of how much Jesus suffered because of my sins, I find no fellowship in this. Yet Paul says we are to fellowship in His sufferings. How? Why?

Isaiah 53:5 states, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

            God knew there was only one way to rebuild a relationship with His people. He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate price . . . death, inconceivable punishment, and agony. He did this for me. For you. It is by Jesus’ wounds that we are healed and can find peace. Can we believe this?

            After Jesus’ death, the disciples gathered behind locked doors fearing persecution and possible death for their affiliation with Jesus. When Jesus appeared to them, they were aghast. Thomas was not there. When he showed up, the disciples told him the glorious news. Jesus is alive. Thomas was outraged at their impertinence. “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand in His side, I will not believe.”

            Eight days later, Jesus shows up again, holds out his hands, and lifts his tunic for Thomas to see His wounds. Jesus told Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”  And Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!” Thomas saw and believed.

            What about us? We haven’t seen the wounds. They are only the horror our minds have conjured up and possessed from scriptural readings and theatrical performances.

            Jesus said to Thomas, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blesses are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

            Thomas saw the wounds.

            Okay . . . think about this for a moment because this almost brought me out of my seat.

            Why were there still wounds on the resurrected Jesus? Why was He not perfect and whole?

            Dr. Price said the wounds are what binds us to our risen Lord. By His wounds we are healed. When Jesus stretched out his hand to Thomas, He was also stretching them out to us. He invited Thomas and us to put our hand in His wounds. Look and touch.

            Jesus asked us to behold and look at His suffering and believe in order for Him to provide us peace and healing. All those disciples who were barricaded inside that room, full of hurt and fear, can now put it all into the wounds and sacrifice of Jesus. He asked us not to carry the doubt and confusion, but to touch Him, put our hands into His wounds and let him carry our pain; so, that we might have peace and healing.

            Jesus was essentially saying, “Thomas it’s not over. Hey, touch me! My yoke is easy. Let me carry yours, too.”

            That’s why the wounds of Jesus are our point of deepest relationship. He shows us His wounds and says “touch Me”. We show Him our wounds, praying for Him to please touch me. Touch the hurt; You understand. Touch my brokenness, heartache, pain, doubt, and fear. You who have suffered all of it, touch me. Let me lean into You, Father, because You are the only one who understands. Our wounds are what joins us together.

            Are you hanging on hard to your wounds? Picking at them. Keeping them raw. Give them to the one who suffered greatly. Draw yourself into the brokenness of Jesus, into the very wounds that can redeem, heal, and give us peace.

            Reflect on the words to this song, “Worthy is the Lamb” by Hillsong

Thank you for the cross Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came and gave amazing grace
Thank you for this love Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
That washed me in Your cleansing flow
We are saved by His wounds, wounds that were permanently scarred in His hands. We all have scars.  What are you doing with your wounds and scars?

            Here’s one of my favorite poems:

No Scar

by Amy Carmichael

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound, no scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And, pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?

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