Are My Scars Showing? **
As Easter approached last week, I was reminded of the Cross daily. I really desired to have a fresh focus of Jesus’ sacrifice. I truly preferred to not just go through another holiday that was supposed to remind me of Jesus, but to truly remember Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection in a new way.
During this time of introspection, I was reminded afresh of the whole sacrifice that Jesus made for the whole world. In His sovereignty, He knew who would receive Him and who would reject Him yet, He chose to bear ALL sin for ALL time. The scars he now bears are wounds not only from the sins of the saved, but the lost as well. What kind of Savior does that? Who takes on intense punishment that will still be paid by the debtor? For example, let’s say that a man named Frank was a scoundrel from the day he was born. He cheated as many people as he could, robbed several banks and beat his girlfriend that he “shacked up” with to boot. Frank is told of Christ’s sacrifice for him before he dies, but decides to not receive Jesus. Did God know that Frank would not receive Him? Yes. God is all-knowing. But, did Jesus still bear Frank’s sin on the Cross? Yes. Romans 6:10 tells us, “For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all…” He didn’t pick and choose which sins He would cover with His blood. John 3:16 tells us that Jesus died for the WHOLE world, not some, not the few, the whole. All sins were covered for all time, every single one. Even for the ones He knew would never receive His sacrifice. He is amazing, isn’t He? Truly no darkness can be found in Him (I John 1:5).
As I was pondering all of these thoughts, I came across a quote by Gordon Watt. He said, “The call of the Cross, therefore, is to enter into this passion of Christ. We must have upon us the print of the nails.” I looked at my hands and thought, ‘Do I bear the scars of Christ?’ My answer was not satisfactory. My “sacrifices” for Christ’s work leave me a little tired at times, but not scarred. As I am being conformed into the image of Christ as Romans 8:29 says I should be are His scars, His sacrifice, visibly being seen in me?
But, He made the sacrifice, so why should scars be visible in me? Scars should be visible in me because I am dying daily (I Corinthians 15:31). When I am crucifying the flesh as I am compelled to do, because I want to be Christ-like, I place my carnal nature on the Cross every minute of every day. This makes my obligation to live under the flesh null and void. Romans 8:12 and 13 says, “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” When I am crucified with Christ, I am then raised in newness of life and living under the resurrection power of The Holy Spirit. My flesh is dead, but my spirit is now under the control of my Lord. When I am living under the Spirit’s control, my scars show. My crucifixion is obvious to others. My scars show just as Jesus’ resurrection was obvious to others and His scars still show. We are never more like Christ then when we bear His markings.
So, if you see me quietly looking at my hands this week, just know that I am asking myself if my scars are showing. As I go to bed tonight, I will be asking myself if anyone saw the scars in my hands today. Did people see a crucified, resurrected life or, a weak-fleshed girl trying to accomplish things in her own strength? Did my husband see my new life in Christ or, the same loutish flesh? Did my boys see a scarred, radiant mom or, a tired work-a-holic? Did my neighbors see a rejuvenated Christ walker or, no one because I was hiding from their needs? Was I truly crucified with Christ today? Was I able to say as Paul, “I die daily”?
I confess scarring has never been a desire of mine. It used to be unwanted, repugnant. I have some scarring on my legs that I am bothered with. I have a chicken pox scar on my cheek that is finally fading after thirty plus years. My scars are not badges of courage but, reminders of stupidity. Christ’s scars are the opposite. They are not repugnant. They are beautiful, wanted, desired. They are the markings of a completely sacrificed life. A life that only wanted what God wanted and literally gave everything to surrender to that will. So now, I desire His scarring on my life, my hands, and my feet because that is what the crucified life looks like.
Oh, please, Lord, make Christ’s thoughts be my thoughts. His desires, my desires. His ways, my ways and His beautiful scars, mine.
** Please excuse all the formatting errors. I am struggling with a new program. Thank you!