For more years than I am proud of confessing, Easter was the only day of the year I went to church. I never understood why this weekend was so special to people. As a child, I guess I never got that far in my Christian walk.
This weekend represents the most phenomenal act of love anyone could ever display. Beginning on Friday, which represents the day Jesus died on the cross. God poured all the sins of mankind upon his only son. It was the only way to reconcile us back to the Father.
Saturday must have been such a day of mourning for all those that followed and loved him. What agony? Having heard him tell them over and over that he had to go to the cross. Would he really come back? Did they forsake all to follow Jesus just to have him taken, never to return? This day is sandwiched between a horrific loss & an indescribable miracle. How many times have we agonized waiting on a predicted outcome?
Then comes the day we celebrate as “Easter”. Mary discovered her beloved Jesus was gone, in fear that someone had taken his body. He appeared to her in an attempt to calm her fears. He said her name. She knew at that moment it was truly him, b/c no one said her name like him. You can almost sense the overwhelming peace that swept over her at that moment. He arose from the dead just as he promised!
As Mary spread the news, Jesus appeared to the disciples to alleviate their fears of loss. All except Thomas. When he heard, he would have only believed if he could touch his “scars.”
Jesus appeared again to the room of followers. This is the amazing part! Jesus walked right past the rest of those that celebrated his resurrection to show himself to Thomas. Why? I have always heard the reason Jesus did this was b/c Thomas was labeled “the doubter”. He was grieving, having witnessed the loss of his Savior. Jesus recognized this b/c he knew the hurt, pain, disappointment and grief Thomas felt. This is priceless!
Fast forward a few thousand generations. What about us? Jesus knows our name and can say it in such a way that we know it is him. He hears all our prayers and sees the pain. Pain such as loss of a loved one through death, betrayal b/c of divorce or infidelity in a marriage relationship, verbal or physical abuse, hopelessness due to financial challenges, dissention between parent/child caused by extreme conflict, or failure in many areas. What is it for you? What do your scars reveal? How deep is your pain? To what level has your trust plummeted? Again…He knows your name for it is written on the palm of his nail scarred hands.
I have watched 2 movies that pierced my heart. “Blind Side” & “Precious”(language was VERY rough) Both movies grieved me in knowing anyone could treat their loved ones in this manner, & how we can change lives by getting over ourselves. They compel me even greater to reach out to a hurt and dying world with such “scars” that only being introduced to a Savior could heal.
If you do carry “scars”, be comforted! There is a scripture that I have held onto for many, many years that speaks to me describing what it will mean in the resurrection.
1 Cor. 15:42-44–So it is with the resurrection of the dead. [The body] that is sown is perishable and decays, but [the body] that is resurrected is imperishable (immune to decay, immortal).
43It is sown in dishonor and humiliation; it is raised in honor and glory. It is sown in infirmity and weakness; it is resurrected in strength and endued with power.
44It is sown a natural (physical) body; it is raised a supernatural (a spiritual) body. [As surely as] there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.
Knowing this….there is hope for us all!! When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, we embrace what the DBR Factor (Death, Burial & Resurrection) brings to us all. I love verse 43 the most b/c I believe this is what happened in my life when I finally surrendered my will to his!
I declare resurrection in your life and in the lives of your relationships, business, job, whatever areas are most important to you. Be encouraged…they are of utmost importance to Jesus too!
Blessings & honor!
p.s. I so appreciate my pastor, Scott Wilson, for changing my perspective about Thomas.