When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (John 20)
One thing is certain. Everyone Jesus encountered, everyone since, everyone here, you and I… have all suffered, are suffering, will suffer. We don’t seek this, we don’t choose this, but we carry scars all of us. Some can be seen, felt easily. Others less so. Many are completely invisible. But these are the wounds we carry.
I have always believed that when Jesus appeared to his followers after the Easter, he must have looked entirely different, most assuredly better I would assume. Most of them had seen him last at his trial, at the scourging, hanging upon a cross, or draped in burial clothes. He was brutally beaten and he must have looked that part.
In the small room where he now stood, he must have… looked better than that. But the risen Jesus still had scars, still carried those wounds. And furthermore, this was how they knew it was him. By those wounds.
In our lives, we will be wounded. If there is nothing left in the story to tell, then we will carry those wounds forward for as long as we possibly can. They can shape us, identify us, define us.
For those of us who are willing to stand with others in that small enclosure, who recognize him as the one who was also wounded, wounded even for us, but who now stands before us… showing us his scars… and who is alive… and if we believe that the story continues…
… then we can proceed on forward. Now lifted.