Blogger’s Note: I shared a shorter version of this as a comment on a post from another blog, then realized I had never shared it on my own. Here goes…
Often in Adoration, just after I genuflect, kneel, close my eyes, and greet the Lord, an image comes to mind. The image is of the risen Jesus, dressed in white robes as He is often portrayed, standing before me in welcome. Like Thomas and the other apostles, I can still see the holes in His glorified hands and feet, though I am drawn more to His smiling face. In my mind’s eye, I rise and we embrace like brothers or old friends—and through the texture of his robe, I can feel the riot of raised and jagged scars criss-crossing his shoulders and back from the scourging he endured for our sake.
For my sake.
I remember, as a teen, watching the Civil War movie Glory for the first time and the emotional impact of the scene in which Denzel Washington’s character, the runaway slave Trip, is to be flogged for being absent without leave. (He went looking for shoes.) I remember wincing at the scars on Trip’s back, and wondering how a person could do this to another.
These are the scars I feel beneath the linen that covers our Lord. They cause Him no pain now. They are, two millennia later, like badges of honor, marking His perseverance and faithfulness to the Father, or like fleshy cuneiform commemorating the covenant written in His blood.
He takes no notice of my notice. But I am humbled by His love for us and sorrowful for the part I play each time I turn the lash—in thought, word, or deed—against His Body: my bride, my children, my own brothers and sisters in Christ.
Lord, I long to heal and not harm. May I learn to pour myself out in love and peace. Amen.