Quit Hiding From Your Scars: Freedom Behind Closed Doors In the Company of Brethren & Friends

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-four through thirty-one of the twentieth chapter. When you come to and approach the final set of verses found within this chapter you will find the account of certain events which took place after the resurrection of Jesus taking place. If there is perhaps one single reality surrounding the resurrection of Jesus that so grips and so captivates me it’s that He didn’t rise from the dead, emerge from the grave and then immediately ascend into heaven. If and as you ready and study the words which are found in the various accounts of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ you will find that after He rose from the dead He remained upon the earth for a certain period of time in order that He might fulfill that which was ordained and appointed for Him by the Father. I have to admit that I absolutely love the fact that after Jesus rose from the dead and emerged from the grave He didn’t immediately ascend into heaven and unto the right hand of the Father, but remained upon the earth among men and among those who had been given Him of the Father. It is absolutely remarkable and captivating when you think about and consider the fact that the stone was rolled away and removed from the entrance of the tomb, the Spirit of the living God raised Jesus from death to life, and He not only emerged, but actually walked forth out of and from the grave. We dare not and cannot miss this all important truth and reality, for any discussion concerning and pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus the Christ must also touch on the reality that after He rose from the dead He remained upon the earth among those to whom He was called and those to whom He was sent. The question we have to ask ourselves when considering this particular reality is why—why would Jesus need to remain upon the earth after being raised from death to life by the very Spirit of the living God? What is so incredibly important is that there was a work which Christ needed to accomplish within and upon the earth that, which I believe was appointed and ordained by the Father. There is not a doubt in my mind that the period of time which Christ appeared and manifested Himself unto and among those to whom He was called and those to whom He was sent was ordained and divinely orchestrated by the true and living God. I firmly believe with all my heart that there was something very specific which Jesus needed to fulfill and accomplish during those days immediately following His resurrection from the grave. There was a very specific work which was to take place—a resurrection work—which needed to be displayed and manifested within the earth before she could ascend unto the right hand of the Father. In all reality it’s almost as if the Father declared unto the Son, saying, “I have raised you from death to life, however, there is still a work which needs to be done within and upon the earth and among those to whom I have sent you.”

As I stand here this morning I find it absolutely incredible to think about the fact that after Jesus was raised from death to life by the very Spirit of the living God He could have very easily ascended unto the right hand of the Father. Perhaps a reality that so intrigued and captivated me right now as I write these words is that even after Jesus rose from the grave He didn’t appear she manifest Himself to His accusers, nor did He manifest Himself to His adversaries. There is something quite remarkable and astonishing which took place at the cross as Jesus hung there suspended between earth and my. As Jesus hung there naked and bleeding upon the cross the gospel authors write how the scribes, the chief priests and the elders of Israel all wagged their heads at Jesus upon the cross. What’s more, is that you will find and read that not only did they wag their heads, but they also made one very specific statement in His hearing and presence. While Jesus hung there naked and bleeding upon the cross the chief priests, the scribes and elders of Israel tempted Jesus to come down from the cross—to essentially save Himself—and that if He did they would believe in Him. Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of their words, for their words have the incredible reality to bring us face to face with something which I can’t help but consider after the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Of course we know from scripture that Jesus could have very easily come down off that cross and could have demonstrated that He truly was the Son of God. Jesus could have very easily removed Himself from the cross and demonstrated and manifested His glory and might, and that she truly was the Son of God. The truth of the matter, however, is that had Jesus chosen to give in to the temptation to come down off from the cross in order that men might believe in Him as a direct result, He would have forfeited the work which the Father has ordained and appointed to take place upon the cross. Had Jesus chosen to come down from the cross and demonstrate His power and might, the work of salvation would not have been completed, and the work of redemption and justification would have been forfeited by Jesus the Christ. Isn’t it absolutely astounding to think about the fact that Jesus wasn’t willing to come down off the cross just to demonstrate power and authority in order that men might believe in Him? Isn’t it absolutely astounding to think that Jesus wasn’t willing to forfeit the work of being the sacrifice and atonement for our sins in order that He might cause a handful or more religious folk to believe in Him? Jesus knee He could have come down from the cross and yet instead of coming down to prove that He was indeed the Som of God, she instead chose to remain upon the cross in order that He might fulfill and complete the work which was ordained and appointed for Him to do upon the cross. Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to remain upon the cross until the work was finished and completed, and even when He did come down off the cross He came down dead and having to have His body removed by others.

I have to admit that as I sit here this morning I am completely and utterly captivated with and by the fact that Jesus could have chosen to come down off the cross—to give unto the temptation of religious accusers and adversaries—in order that He might demonstrate and prove that He was indeed the Son of God. With that being said, it was possible that Jesus could have chosen to remain upon the cross until the work has been completed and had been finished, and could have been buried in the tomb and raided to life on the third day, and yet after He was raided from death to life could have marched straight to the Temple and shown Himself alive. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that Jesus could have risen from the grave and emerged from the grave and marched straight to the temple where Hw had taught so many times before in order that He might not into show and demonstrate that He was alive, but also that He was in fact the Son of God. What’s mote, is that Jesus could have very easily marched and parades Himself through the streets of Jerusalem in order that He might demonstrate and prove unto those who accused and condemned Him that He was very much alive and that their plans to crucify Him had in fact been vain and utterly useless. Pause for a moment and think about and consider the fact that Jesus could have entered into the holy city of Jerusalem and could have marched up and down and throughout the streets of the city in order that He might demonstrate that He was indeed the Son of God. While He wasn’t willing to come down off the cross in order to prove and demonstrate that He was the Son of God, it is true that He could have chosen to march through the streets of the city of Jerusalem in order that others might see and understand that He was indeed and was in fact the Son of God. It is quite remarkable to think about and consider the fact that Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose not to come down from the cross in response to the temptations of the accusers who stood before Him, but it also true that Jesus didn’t immediately confront those who not only accused Him, but also those who condemned Him to die. Jesus could have marched straight to the great hall where Pontius Pilate dwelt and abided, and yet He chose not to go unto this great hall. Jesus could have retuned to those places where He had been beaten, spit upon, slapped, tortured, mocked and ridiculed, and demonstrated that He was the Son of God and was very much alive. Jesus could have marched straight to the house of the high priest during those days—the very house where He stood trial before His people—and could have shown Himself as being alive. He could have even gone to the palace of Herod where He also stood trial in order that He might demonstrate and prove that He was the Som of God. After all, Herod was desirous of Jesus to show Him some sign and work some miracle and sign in His presence after hearing so many rumors and reports concerning Him.

JESUS DIDN’T SHOW HIMSELF UNTO HIS ACCUSERS! JESUS DIDN’T SHOW HIMSELF UNTO THISE WHO CONDEMNED HIM! JESUS DIDN’T SHOW HIMSELF TO THOSE WHO TORTURED HIM! JESUS DIDN’T AHOW UP AT THE TEMPLE AFTER RISING FROM THE DEAD! JESUS DIDN’T SHOW UP AT THE HALL OF JUDGMENT AFTER RISING FROM THE DEAD! JESUS DIDN’T SHOW UP AT HEROD’S PALACE AFTER RISIJG FROM THE DEAD! JESUS DIDN’T SHOW UP AT THE HOUSE OF THE HIGH PRIEST AFTER RISIJG FROM GHE DEAD! It is absolutely astounding and quite remarkable to think about and consider the fact that after Jesus rose from the grave He didn’t immediately show Himself unto His accusers, nor those who had condemned Him to death. It’s quite remarkable to think about and consider that in order for Jesus to come down from the cross He had to come down dead and crucified, and His body had to be removed by others. Although Jesus was tempted by those before and those around Him to come down off the cross to demonstrate and prove that He was indeed the Son of God, Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to remain upon the cross—this despite the mockery, this despite the ridicule, this despite those who would tempt Him to come down from the cross. Jesus hung there suspended between earth and sky upon the cross knowing that He could have indeed come down from the cross, and yet instead of coming down from the cross He chose to remain hanging there upon the cross before and in the company and presence of His accusers and those who would tempt and ridicule Him. Even when Jesus did come down off the cross He came down dead having yielded the ghost and commended His spirit into the hands of the Father. What’s more, is that when Jesus finally came down from the cross it wasn’t Himself who removed His body from the cross very much alive, but it was others who removed Himself and His physical body from the cross very much dead. I am convinced there is something which is to be understood when thinking about this particular reality, and while I fully recognize that what I’m about to write doesn’t necessarily have to do with the resurrection of Jesus, it nonetheless holds true for our lives. It’s important to note and understand that when Jesus was nailed to the cross, and when the cross was raised from the ground and suspended upright outside the city of Jerusalem, Jesus was very much alive and was very much a living sacrifice. There are words which the apostle Paul wrote in the twelfth chapter of the epistle which he wrote and sent unto the church which was at Rome. If you begin reading with and from the twelfth verse of the epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Rome you will find the following words which were recorded by the apostle unto the Gentiles:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the rewinding of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:1-5).

It’s important to recognize and consider that when the apostle wrote unto the saints which were at Rome and wrote about a sacrifice which was pleasing and acceptable unto the Lord, he didn’t speak of a sacrifice that was placed on the altar dead as was the case during the days of the Old Covenant. When the apostle Paul wrote about the sacrifice which was pleasing and acceptable in the sight of the living God, he wrote and spoke about a sacrifice which was very much alive. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this reality, for Jesus the Christ was the ultimate living sacrifice, and was the ultimate sacrifice which was presented and offered unto the living God. I mention and write this, for when you think about and consider the fact that when Jesus came down from the cross He had to have His physical body removed from the cross by others for He while on the cross He had yielded up the ghost and commended His spirit into the hands of the Father. The reason I find this to be so absolutely and incredible significant is when you think about and consider the fact that while we are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices hoy and acceptable unto God, we are called to remain alive as a sacrifice before and unto the living God, and we are not to make any effort or attempt to come off the altar or come off the cross until the work of the cross has completed its work within our lives. Jesus could have very easily come down from the cross, and yet instead of coming down off the cross He not only chose to remain upon the cross in front of and before His accusers and those who would ridicule Him, but chose to commend Himself and His spirit into the hands of the Father just before He yielded up the ghost after the work was finished and completed. Oh there is something to be said about Jesus yielding His spirit and commending Himself into the hands of the Father—after the work was finished upon the cross. There is an underlying danger and temptation we as Christians and we as the body of Christ face to come down off the cross before the appointed time, and before the work of the cross has had the chance to perform its perfect work within our lives. There is a growing tendency we face to come down off the cross, and to remove ourselves from off the altar before the work has truly been finished and accomplished. Perhaps the single greatest reality we must understand concerning this reality is that we have been called to remain upon the altar until the work of the altar has had the chance to be fulfilled within and upon our lives, and to not remove ourselves before the appointed time. Oh I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul also wrote in the same epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Rome, for earlier on in the epistle the apostle Paul wrote about our being buried with Christ in baptism, and our being crucified with Christ. This same reality is echoed in the second chapter of the epistle which was written unto the churches in Galatia, for it would be unto the churches in Galatia the apostle Paul would write concerning our need to not only be buried with Christ in baptism, but also to be crucified with Christ. Consider if you will the words which are found within each of these New Testament epistles which were written by the apostle Paul:

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized, into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: knowing that Christ being raised form the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:3-14).

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressors. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I. Now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:16-21).

What I so love about the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ is that not only did He choose not to come down from the cross in order to demonstrate and prove that He was indeed the Son of God, but even when He was risen from the grave, He didn’t march Himself unto and before those who falsely accused Him and condemned Him to death. When Jesus finally came down from the cross He came down completely and utterly dead, as His physical and lifeless body was removed from the cross before being wrapped in linen cloths and anointed with fragrant spices and aromas. What’s more, is that even after Jesus was raised from death to life He deliberately and intentionally chose not to parade Himself unto the Temple in order to demonstrate and prove that He was alive. Think about this for a moment, for even after Jesus was raised from death to life He didn’t return unto the very house of God—the very house of His Father—in order that He might demonstrate and prove that He was alive. Even though Jesus had been raised from death to life by the very Spirit of the living God, He chose not to do a “Resurrection Tour”—essentially traveling and journeying unto the various synagogues within and throughout Judaea, Galilee, and even Jerusalem. When Jesus rose from the dead and emerged from the tomb, He neither journeyed to the various synagogues in the land proving and demonstrating that He was indeed alive and had risen from the dead, nor did He appear in the Temple proving and demonstrating that He was indeed the Son of God and had risen from the grave. There would be a temptation within our hearts to do our own “Resurrection Tour” and to journey around to various places proving that we have indeed risen from death to life, and have in fact been crucified. When Jesus was raised from death to life, and when He emerged from the tomb and the grave, He didn’t immediately choose to journey unto the house of the high priest during those days, nor even the palace of Herod to prove and demonstrate that He was indeed the Son of God, and that He had indeed risen from the grave. Jesus didn’t appear in the judgment hall where Pontius Pilate resided, nor even the common area where Jesus was whipped and scourged with cords which were laced with chips of bone and glass. Jesus neither manifested Himself, nor did He appear unto those who accused Him before Herod, before Caiaphas and before Pilate, nor did Jesus even appear before that one who ultimately sentenced and condemned Him to death. Oh, the temptation would have been to immediately silence those who accused you, and those who cried out for your blood and for your death, in order that you might demonstrate and prove that you are indeed the Son of God. The same reality holds true for us, for there is the temptation to announce that we have been raised from death to life, and to parade ourselves before and in front of those who wrongly accused, mistreated, and abused us. There is a temptation to march and parade ourselves in front of and before those who have caused us such tremendous pain and suffering within our lives, and to demonstrate that although we might have been crucified, and although we might have been buried, we were indeed raised from death to life, and have been given new life.

Oh I can’t help but be reminded of the account of Joseph in the Old Testament book of Genesis, for even when his brothers appeared in the land of Egypt during a time of great famine, Joseph deliberately and intentionally chose not to parade his position before and in front of them. It would have been very easy for Joseph to announce who he was, and even to parade his authority before and in the company of his brethren when they appeared before him in the land of Egypt. It would have been very easy for Joseph to parade himself in the company of his brethren, and to announce and proclaim that he had come out on the other side, and to have spoken such words in arrogance and pride. It is true that when Joseph spoke unto His brethren in the land of Egypt once he finally revealed himself unto his brethren he announced and proclaimed that what they meant for evil the Lord meant for God, however, he was neither arrogant nor conceited and prideful about it. Joseph didn’t have to pronounce unto his brothers in arrogance and pride that he was now the second most powerful man in all of Egypt under Pharaoh himself. Joseph didn’t parade before and in front of his brethren that he had indeed come out on the other side of being cast into an empty cistern, that he had indeed come out on the other side of being sold into slavery, and even spoken unto them concerning his being falsely accused by his master’s wife and being cast into prison. Joseph did exclaim and proclaim that what they meant for evil the Lord meant for God, however, he didn’t gloat or boast in his new position, nor even in the fact that he had come out on the other side. Even though his brothers—those who cast him into a cistern, and those who had sold him into slavery—stood before him Joseph would not launch a campaign of transformation and resurrection in the company and presence of his brethren. What’s more, is that even when Joseph was promoted to the second highest ruler in the land of Egypt, he didn’t go back to the one who had forgotten him in prison, the wife of Potiphar who accused him, nor others in order that he might demonstrate a “resurrection” of sorts. It would have been very easy for Joseph to launch his own “Resurrection Tour,” and to publicly proclaim and exclaim that he had indeed come out on the other side of the pit and the prison, and yet instead of doing so he chose to remain in a posture of humility before the Lord and before men. Oh that we would recognize and understand this reality and that we would recognize the tremendous amount of humility that is needed to know that we have been raised from death to life, and yet not to enter into a posture of arrogance and pride. Even in the case of Joseph it is true that he experienced a resurrection of sorts, for you will recall that his father thought that he was dead, and did so for a number of years. It would be years later when Jacob would stand before his son whom he thought was dead and would see that he was very much alive, and that he was alive after so many years thinking and believing that he was dead. Oh how absolutely wonderful and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that Joseph did in fact experience a resurrection of sorts in the eyes and heart of his father, and yet even in that place of “resurrection” Joseph remained in a posture of humility and meekness.

As I sit here this morning I am completely and utterly captivated with and by the fact that after Jesus was raised from death to life, He did not launch a “Resurrection Tour” within Judaea, within Samaria, within Galilee, and even within Jerusalem declaring and proclaiming that He had indeed and had in fact been raised from death to life. Jesus could have very easily manifested Himself alive in the company of those who tortured, spit upon Him, slapped Him, ridiculed Him, mocked Him, and even caused Him tremendous pain, and yet He chose to stay away from those who tortured Him. Jesus could have very easily manifested Himself in the company and presence of that one who had sentenced and condemned Him to death, and yet instead of doing so, we find no record of Jesus appearing before Pilate a second time. What’s more, is Jesus could have appeared before the high priest Caiaphas, as well as Herod the tetrarch as He demonstrated that He was very much alive, and yet the truth of the matter is that we find absolutely no account of Jesus coming unto the house of the high priest, nor the palace of the terrace. Even though Jesus was raised from death to life, He chose not to immediately launch a circuit of resurrection, thus demonstrating and proving that He was in fact risen from the grave, and had in fact emerged from the tomb. Even after Lazarus was raised from death to life by Jesus as Jesus stood outside his grave, we don’t find Lazarus launching his own “Resurrection Tour,” thus declaring and proclaiming unto those in Jerusalem, those in Bethany, and those in Judaea that he had in fact been raised from death to life. Oh, it would have been very easy to praise the act and process of resurrection rather than praising and exalting the One who proclaimed and exclaimed that He was in fact the resurrection and the life. Even though Jesus had indeed and had in fact been raised from death to life, He deliberately and intentionally chose not to go around announcing and proclaiming that He was in fact risen from the dead. In fact, if you read the scriptural accounts of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ you will find that after He had risen from the grave, He appeared unto Mary at the tomb, He appeared unto two men who were traveling from Jerusalem unto a town called Emmaus, He appeared unto the eleven apostles, and He appeared unto upwards of five hundred souls at one time. In fact, if you read the scriptural accounts which were recorded by the physician Luke in the first chapter of the book of Acts, as well as the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the first epistle which was written unto the Corinthians, you will find scriptural evidence that Jesus did in fact appear and manifest Himself as alive unto certain individuals during and over a period of forty days after His resurrection. Consider if you will the words which the beloved physician Luke, as well as the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament concerning the resurrection of Jesus the Christ:

“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after that He thought the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen: to whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by man infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:1-5).

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless y have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an pestle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labour Ed more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).

It is quite clear and quite obvious when reading the words which are found and recorded within these two verses that after Jesus had indeed and had in fact risen from the grave, He appeared and manifested Himself unto the apostles, as well as unto the two men who were journeying on the road to Emmaus. What’s more, is that the apostle Paul writes that Jesus appeared and manifested Himself unto upwards of five hundred at a single time during those forty days He remained upon the earth. If you read the words which are written and recorded within the twentieth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find two such examples of Jesus manifesting Himself unto the apostles who were themselves abiding in a room with the door shut and locked behind them. What is so interesting and unique about what we read in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John is that Jesus was in fact raised from death to life, and did in fact emerge from the tomb and the grave, and while the stone was rolled away and removed before Jesus would emerge from the tomb, He appeared and manifested Himself among the disciples—not once, but twice behind closed doors. If you read this particular chapter which is found in the New Testament gospel of John you will find that on the first day of the week—after Jesus was raised from death to life—He appeared in the midst of the disciples as they dwelt and abided in a room with the door shut behind them for fear of the Jews. What’s more, is that not only did Jesus appear in the midst of them in that room behind closed doors, but He also showed unto them His hands and His side where the print of the nails and the scar of the spear had pierced Him. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to manifest Himself in their midst behind closed doors, but Jesus also showed and displayed unto them the scars which He had carried with Him on the other side of death. The one thing that is unique about scars is that with time they might eventually go away and no longer be visible within and upon the physical body of an individual. There are some scars which can and will remain within and upon the physical body of men and women depending on the severity of what took place within their lives. What we must recognize and realize is that Jesus could have risen from the grave, and Jesus could have risen absent the scars of the nails in His hands, and even absent the scar from the spear which was thrust in His side, however, this simply is not the case. As you read the Scriptural accounts of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ you will quickly notice that not only did He choose to remain upon the earth for a period of forty days after He was raised from death to life, but He also displayed His scars behind closed doors in the company and presence of the disciples. DISPLAYING SCARS IN THE COMPANY OF THE BRETHREN BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!

Oh, there is something to be said about not only manifesting ourselves in the company of our brethren upon resurrection and being raised from death to life, but also about showing and revealing the scars of our suffering and of what we went through. Jesus could have very easily revealed Himself unto the disciples absent the scars, and absent showing them the print of the nails in His hands, and even the scar on His side where the spear was thrust. The truth of the matter, however, is that Jesus didn’t merely display and show His scars once, but He showed them a second time unto Thomas specifically. The first time the apostle John writes and records Jesus displaying His scars behind closed doors unto the disciples was on the first day—the day when He was actually raised from death to life and emerged from the grave. It was behind closed doors on this occasion when Jesus not only manifested Himself in the midst of the disciples, but also showed them the scars in His hands and on His side. What we would later learn is that this first manifestation behind closed doors, and this first display of scars was done without Thomas who was also called Didymus being present with the other disciples. The apostle John writes how eight days later the disciples were again dwelling behind closed doors, however, this time Thomas was present with and among them. It would be eight days later when they were once more behind closed doors, and when Thomas was with them that Jesus would appear in their midst, and would show His scars unto Thomas specifically in order that he might believe and that his faith might be strengthened. It is quite astonishing to think about and consider the fact that not only did Jesus appear in the midst of His disciples once and show them His scars, but He also appeared among them a second time and showed His scars unto Thomas specifically. Oh, there is something about appearing behind closed doors in the company and presence of our brethren and companions and displaying before and unto them the scars of our suffering. Oh, what would happen if we weren’t afraid, nor were we ashamed to show our scars unto those who are our companions and brethren? What would happen if after we have come out on the other side of suffering, and come out on the other side of death itself (spiritually and figuratively speaking), we displayed our scars, thus not only providing that we are very much alive, resurrected and restored, but also that what we went through was very much real and did in fact take place/ It’s absolutely astounding to think about and consider the fact that not only did Jesus display His scars unto the disciples in their midst on two separate occasions, but Jesus also chose to take those scars and the print from the nails and the spear with Him into heaven unto the right hand of the Father. There is something about scars and something about being willing to show them behind closed doors in the company and presence of those whom we trust that is incredibly powerful, and we would do well to take and learn from the example of Jesus the Christ and how after He was raised from death to life He showed and revealed His scars unto and in the company and presence of the disciples—not once, but twice—and did so behind closed doors.

Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves as we read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture is whether or not we are afraid and ashamed of the scars we carry within our lives, or whether we view the scars we have within our lives as that which proves and demonstrates the awesome and wonderful work of death, burial and resurrection in our lives. There are those who are somehow afraid and ashamed of the scars which they have within their lives, and yet the truth of the matter is that there is something truly liberating and truly transformative about the scars we carry—and not only the scars we carry, but also displaying those scars in the company and presence of others behind closed doors. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are willing to display the scars we are carrying within our lives, and whether or not we are willing to do so behind closed doors in the company of brethren and friends. What would happen if we began holding small groups and meetings that were centered around the reality and concept of the scars we carry and the scars we bear, as we find the willingness and openness to show and display those scars unto others. It is the scars which not only prove and demonstrate that what we went through was in fact real and did in fact happen, but scars also show and reveal that we did in fact come out on the other side of what we have walked through. OH, it is absolutely wonderful and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that scars both prove and demonstrate that what we went through was an fact real, but it also demonstrates that we did in fact come out on the other side, and have experienced resurrection within our lives. SCARS NOT ONLY CONFIRM DEATH AND CRUCIFIXION, BUT SCARS ALSO DEMONSTRATE AND PROVE RESURRECTION! SCARS CONFIRM THE INCREDIBLE TRUTH THAT RESURRECTION IS IN FACT POSSIBLE AND THAT DEATH, SUFFERING, AND CRUCIFIXION DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE END OF THE STORY! SCARS DEMONSTRATE THAT SUFFERING IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY! SCARS DEMONSTRATE THAT DEATH IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY! SCARS DEMONSTRATE THAT CRUCIFIXION IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY! SCARS DEMONSTRATE AND PROVE THAT THERE IS HOPE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CROSS AND ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GRAVE. WHEN SCARS BECOME BADGES OF HONOR AND SYMBOLS OF HOPE! SCARS: BADGES OF HONOR AND SYMBOLS OF HOPE! Oh that we would not be fearful and afraid of scars, but that we would embrace the scars we carry and display them behind closed doors in the company of friends and brethren in order that hope might be manifested and displayed in the company of others who may very well need to know and understand that resurrection is in fact possible.

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