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Today’s story, written by the disciple John, takes place just after Jesus has risen from the dead.

“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” (John 20: 24 – 27).

My wife and I had the privilege recently of seeing the Christian band “We are Messengers” in concert. One song stood out for me. The chorus goes like this:

It’s in the empty tomb
It’s on the rugged cross
Your death defying love
Is written in Your scars
You’ll never quit on me
You’ll always hold my heart
‘Cause that’s the kind of God You are

(Songwriters: Phil Wickham / Darren Mulligan / Kyle Williams. God You Are lyrics © Centricity Music Publishing, Be Essential Songs)

Jesus had scars. He used them to prove to Thomas that He was the one who had been crucified, and that He had clearly risen from the dead. The scars of Jesus revealed a story of life, suffering, death and new life.

Most of us have scars. Sometimes we can even be a little proud of them as we re-tell the story of this operation or that sports injury. But some scars we keep hidden and we wish they would go away.

We know something of the emotional toll that the crucifixion brought upon Jesus. The night before. “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt 26: 37 – 39).

We don’t know if Jesus had emotional scars, but we do know that He experienced the enormity of both physical pain and emotional stress. The amazing this is, He didn’t have to. He was God. But he revealed His love for us by enduring those things. The scars he showed Thomas that day were not just proof of life but proof of love. God’s love was written in those scars.

So, what do we do with our scars, especially the painful ones? The ones inside.

First, talk about them to Jesus. He knows what physical pain looks like and when it comes to fear, dread, betrayal, hurtful words… the list goes on, He gets it. Take time bringing them to Him.

Then as you share those burdens with Him, remember His scars and the reason for them. His scars happened because the Father wanted you to know how much he loves you. And He is with you right now as you process your own scars with Him right next to you.