Maher, Matthew

Matthew Maher.

I find it most remarkable that out of all the ways Jesus could have shown Himself to His disciples after His resurrection, one of the ways He chose was to deploy His wounds.

He found it necessary to show them “His hands and His side” (John 20:20) as the evidence of His presence. Why would He do that?

He had just conquered the grave. He could have shown Himself in bodily perfection, but instead, He chose to show proof of His humiliation. I mean, after all, this was post-Resurrection.

I believe it is because His scars told the story of His suffering for the purpose of our saving.

It is true that every scar has a story to tell, but the bearer must be willing to tell it, with healing as the prerequisite and ultimate goal. Therefore, consider the message that Jesus wanted us to carry forward personally - a message that should spring forth from His obvious marks of mercy that He had endured for us on Calvary.

Now, stop for a second and think about the shame and pain that comes with various scars. Some scars are physical and obvious. Others are emotional and scandalous.

Nonetheless, they come in all forms and sizes, as reminders of something that we have gone through and perhaps even have not healed from.

As a result, we often want to conceal what we’ve been through, not wanting anyone to know the history of our agony. Yet with Jesus’ example in deploying His scars, He shows us that it is possible to take what may be shameful, regretful, or painful, and still make it useful.

Likewise, for us, because of His grace, we don’t have to hide our scars. Because of His grace, His scars are in fact covering ours.

Psalm 147:3 states, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Thus, God’s principal work is to heal the wounds of the heart.

No matter how deep or how painful things can be in our lives when we allow God to heal us, He takes what may be ugly and makes it beautiful.

And even if the world hones in on our shameful scars, pointing at them, glaring at them and shaking their heads in condemnation, God wants to remind us that when turned over to Him, He sees the future unwinding of a useful story - a story that tells of hearts being healed, wounds being sealed, and scars being revealed.

So like Jesus, let us use our scars to point to our spiritual healing, healing afforded to those who have placed their trust in the risen Lord.

Let us do so, that the world may see the resurrection power working in us, for our scars of humiliation can become north stars of direction.

ED. NOTE: Maher is the teaching pastor at Coastal Christian Ocean City and is president of Soldiers For Faith Ministries. Social media and website: @TruthOverTrend