John 20: 20 ‘Known by his scars’
Alleluia Christ is Risen, He is risen indeed Alleluia! This is the ancient cry of Christian’s on Easter Day – the cry of hope, of new creation, new life out of the ravages of death.
The Risen Jesus’ body isn’t his old corpse revived, brought back to life only to die again – the Risen Jesus is physically newly created, beyond death’s power forever – both like and unlike his old self.
It’s not surprising then that his friends struggle to see him, to recognise him that first Easter morning. In John’s Gospel Jesus is recognised by his scars – nails went, spear thrust at his death. ‘ Jesus showed them his hands and his side and only then did his disciple rejoice ‘when they saw the risen Lord’ – this is no ghost, no hallucination – the scars proved this – this is physical. Jesus in his Easter life is known by his scars.
Jesus scars matter because our scars matter. We have all been wounded or scarred in some way by this hardest of years, this Covid year and it hurts. When Jesus shows his scars to his friends he’s doing it not there to say feel sorry for me or look what you did to me but to show them that God’s love and life is stronger, stronger than even those things that scar us. Jesus scars matter, because our scars matter. Jesus knows suffering, cruelty and Resurrection life doesn’t pretend they didn’t happen but instead overcomes the power of those events to destroy us, to harm us – because there can be healing and new life. Of course, Jesus holds out the promise that the greatest wound of all, death, does not need to have the final word – through Jesus – life and love does instead
So today this Easter Day 2021 the Risen Jesus’ scarred hands are still held out to us with healing and hope. Is there anyone who doesn’t need their wounds transformed by love?
Risen Jesus, your wounds declare your love for the world and the wonder of your risen life. Open our eyes to recognise your healing presence this holy day. Amen.