After my conversation with Grady, it occurred to me why his preferred greeting was a “fist bump” not a handshake. A handshake would’ve exposed the scars on his wrist—the result of his attempts to do himself harm. It’s not uncommon for us to hide our wounds—external or internal—caused by others or self-inflicted.
In the wake of my interaction with Grady, I thought about Jesus’ physical scars, the wounds caused by nails pounded into His hands and feet and a spear thrust into His side. Rather than hiding His scars, Christ called attention to them.
After Thomas initially doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead, He said to him, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27). When Thomas saw those scars for himself and heard Christ’s amazing words, he was convinced that it was Jesus. He exclaimed in belief, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28). Jesus then pronounced a special blessing for those who haven’t seen Him or His physical wounds but still believe in Him: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29).
The best news ever is that His scars were for our sins—our sins against others or ourselves. The death of Jesus is for the forgiveness of the sins of all who believe in Him and confess with Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”
We can learn much about the resurrection of Jesus by piecing together the gospel accounts of the event. Prior to Christ’s appearing to Thomas in John 20:24–29, He appeared to Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” (see Matthew 28:1), the two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–32), and all of the disciples except for Thomas (John 20:19–24). Luke reports Jesus saying, “Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:39). The disciples watched Him eat a piece of broiled fish. John 20:19 tells us “the doors [were] locked for fear of the Jewish leaders” and that “Jesus came and stood among them.” One week later, Thomas would see the physically resurrected Christ (vv. 26–27), resulting in Thomas’ convinced declaration of belief. Taken together, these passages show the human and divine nature of Jesus and affirm the fact of His bodily resurrection.
To learn more about the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, visit christianuniversity.org/ca206.