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Resurrection And The Wounds Of Jesus

What Does The Resurrection Of Jesus have In Common With Pain And Suffering?

Amazon ImageThere is something about the Easter Bible readings that fascinates me and fills me with great joy, wonder and awe.  Today’s readings are no exception – particularly the Gospel.  Luke writes:-

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.

There is something here that some may find odd; but I find it actually quite amazing!  Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! He has conquered death!  Yet the Risen Lord Jesus Christ still bore the marks of suffering. He still carried in His resurrected body the wounds of his crucifixion.  Hmm. Isn’t that a bit odd.  Why would the Risen Lord Jesus Christ still carry in his resurrected body the marks of his suffering?  Clearly, his suffering was no joke.  We see this by the way he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. So why does Jesus still carry the wounds of his crucifixion in his resurrected body?  What important lesson is he teaching us?  Jesus is teaching us that the wounds of the cross are transformed and not forgotten.  No longer are they the source of death but rather, the place from where new life flows.  You may recall that when the guards came to see if Jesus was dead, they pierced his side with a lance and from it flowed blood and water – a symbol of baptism; new life in Christ Jesus.

What a great consolation that is for us all – that our suffering will one day be the source of great transformation for us and others.  Our faith tells us that our pain and suffering does not end in death.  Rather, it ends in life; in the resurrection. What a great comfort that is!  It is in our pain and suffering that resurrection will come forth.  Just as Jesus said to the disciples, ‘see my wounds; it is I’, so too we can recognize Jesus in our pain and our suffering.  It is in these wounds that we will encounter the Risen Lord Jesus Christ in our lives.

It is powerful to gaze upon and ponder on the wounds of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and to unite our own pain and wounds with His. It is from there new life occurs. It is from there that resurrection takes place.  It is from there that great healing flow.

We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body. (2 Corinthians 4: 8 – 10)

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