Day Three: Changed By The Resurrection!

John 20:24-29 – 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.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, ”Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

“Life in the power of the Resurrection is no simple and happy life, Without complexity or pain. How did Jesus writes to be our pledge, example, and prototype? When Jesus appeared to Thomas after the resurrection, he did not simply show Thomas healed and antiseptic scars. To Thomas he said, “Put your finger here; here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving anymore; but believe.”

“Jesus rose from the dead in the joy of the Resurrection, and yet he did not cease to be who he had been at the worst moment of his death. He rose with his wounds. In much the same way, as we grow into the image of the resurrected Jesus, our pledge, example, and prototype, we also rise with our wounds. We, too, find that a resurrection in God is not a denial or disparagement of our wounds and vulnerability. It is not a sloughing off of our own past, no matter how painful and full of brokenness our past has been. The resurrection is not an abandonment of the cross but the incorporation of the suffering of the cross into the resurrection itself.

“As we bring to the life of prayer all that has ever happened to us, we find that nothing finally is wasted. Rather than casting off unwanted parts of ourselves, we find instead that childhood pain, adult humiliation, experiences of joy, our own treacheries, confusion, loss-all are gathered in and somehow healed and transformed. We become able to look at our own past with love. Where we saw before only wasteland of pain, now we see rich farmlands sown and watered by God’s grace, bearing crops that become for us the very means of our love.”  (R. Bondi, To Love and to Pray, Kindle Locations 1788-1789)

Today, in light of Jesus’ resurrection power and reality, pray over your past hurts, mistakes, wounds, and experience Jesus’ own nail scarred hands bring healing and life into you.