Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20-27 NIV
Our topic for the day was “God is Not Picking On You…..Trials Vs. Temptations.” It started as a lesson on discerning the difference between trials and temptations and how to rejoice in the trials that God gives you. However, very quickly, it turned into a discussion of past hurts, disappointments, and especially abuses in childhood.
As I watched several people compare stories and physical scars, instinctively I glanced at a recent one on my arm. A footprint shaped burn I received thinking I could cook a meal for my family the day after my youngest grandchild took his flight for heaven.
Forgetting I was the one teaching the class, my eyes began to well up on me, but the Holy Spirit nudged me to look again and then asked, “Does it Still Hurt?”
I was like “Of course Lord, it still hurts”.
“No, Chelle. You really mean that 6 month old scar still hurts?”
“No, Lord, of course the scar doesn’t hurt.”
“Okay then, give me all of it.”
Uggh, I felt it in my spirit and I asked the class and I asked you, the same question the Holy Spirit asked me. “Does it still hurt?”
In John Chapter 20:25, Thomas makes a bold statement, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. This was even after Jesus had appeared to several of his fellow disciples during the 8 days since the crucifixion proclaiming that everything Jesus has said would happen had come.
Jesus had forewarned that He would take the sins and sickness of His people to the cross. That He would take on the pains of abuse, disappointment and despair. That He would whip these things to naught and deliver them and death to the gates hell, while snatching the keys from satan so that nothing the devil had could really win over us. And as evidence of His work, he broke the grave wide open and showed that freedom from all manner of trial and temptation could walk the earth.
However, how many of us now need to take on the title of “doubting” that history has given Brother Thomas? How many of us have received the written, heard, and Rhema Word of God and been flooded with the freeing testimonies of how others have seen the Lord move in their lives, yet still keep looking down at our scars declaring disbelief until we receive a full manifestation with our own eyes.
Jesus is still reaching out to you saying, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”…
He wants you to know, that though yes there is a scar on your body and your heart that evokes a memory that will move you…….and yes, He understands because He was touched with every trial and temptation you face….., it is paramount that you understand that He bears scars on His hands, feet, and side that are witness that He took it all for you. He doesn’t want you to carry the burden any longer. He does not want you to smell like smoke though you have been singed by the fires of life.
When Jesus, invited Thomas to “Thrust his fingers into His side”, Jesus was still bearing the evidence of His wounds (aka your wounds), yet they could not have possibly hurt to the touch if he would allow Thomas to do so.
In essence, Jesus was reaffirming that it was possible to be bruised, beaten, broken and horribly scarred, yet be so healed in the promises of God that the discolorations and disfiguration become “smoothed out proof” that God’s Living Word is still living.
Jesus wants you to receive that gift from Him. He took it. He bears the scars. He gives you the freedom from what life delivered. Though you bear evidence of it, He does too. And since His wounds healed, so did yours. That moment when we trust in Him enough to give the pain to Him, even when we can still see and feel the scar, He will take that anomaly on your heart and make it a tattoo of your testimony instead. He will make you a walking, talking, scar bearing evidence that He is very much alive!!!!