Summary: I heard it once said, 'nobody likes scars.' Yet, I beg to differ. Scars, and what they often represent, Truth, Light, Love, Strength, and Determination... are powerful.
A small orphaned boy lived with his grandmother. One night their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to rescue the little boy asleep upstairs, perished in the smoke and flames. A crowd gathered around the burning house. The boy’s cries for help were heard above the crackling of the blaze. No one seemed to know what to do, for the front of the house was a mass of flames.
Suddenly a stranger rushed from the crowd and circled to the back where he spotted an iron pipe that reached an upstairs window. He disappeared for a minute, then reappeared with the boy in his arms. Amid the cheers of the crowd, he climbed down the hot pipe as the boy hung around his neck.
Weeks later a public hearing was held in the town hall to determine in whose custody the boy would be placed. Each person wanting the boy was allowed to speak briefly. The first man said, “I have a big farm. Everybody needs animals, a good work ethic, and to be outdoors.” The second man told of the advantages he could provide. “I’m a teacher. I have a large library. He would get a phenomenal education.” Finally, the richest man in the community said, “I’m wealthy. I could give the boy everything mentioned tonight: farm, education, and more, including money and travel. I’d like him in my home.”
The chairman asked, “Would anyone else like to say a word?” From the backseat rose a stranger who had slipped in unnoticed. As he walked toward the front, deep suffering showed on his face. Reaching the front of the room, he stood directly in front of the little boy. Slowly the stranger removed his hands from his pockets. A gasp went up from the crowd. The little boy, whose eyes had been focused on the floor until now, looked up. The man’s hands were terribly scarred. Suddenly the boy emitted a cry of recognition. Here was the man who had saved his life. His hands were scarred from climbing up and down the hot pipe. With a leap, the boy threw himself around the stranger’s neck and held on for life. The farmer rose and left. The teacher, too. Then the rich man. Everyone departed, leaving the boy and his rescuer who had won him without a word.
Unbelievable Scars speak more effectively than any words.
I have heard it said many times, “No one likes scars.” Yet, I beg to differ. As followers of Christ, we know all about life-giving scars, and often who scars are representative of—"Survivors”. People who have been through something hard, something difficult, something painful, something, often, tragic. Today we sit here as Christians with those words ‘He is Risen’ still freshly etched on our minds. Now, we have passed the second Sunday of Easter, which happened to be April 11th this year, or 4-1-1. And… ‘The 4-1-1’ is exactly what Christ was giving his disciples in last week’s scripture-- Information and truth--- because to the ‘Doubting Thomas’s’, the would-be-us’s, ‘seeing is believing. Christ shows his scars that His disciples may believe. That unbelievers might believe.
Today we continue with an account from the book of Luke where the depiction of the arrival of Jesus is much the same:
New International Version
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
In Luke’s account, much like John’s account last week, there is still a lingering air about, probably much like the lingering air in my house this weekend, it stinks, it came with an attitude, and it came with disbelief—probably a product of the pancake breakfast. Okay, gross, but true! And… I am getting off track… The direction I was headed with the disbelief and attitude is that “I will believe it when I see it!” type-stinkin’ attitude. Like Thomas, we, too, are a ‘proof-is-in-the-pudding’, people. We disbelieve much!