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Verifying Scars

So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."  John 20:25 NIV

In 1803 in New York City, a carpenter named Thomas Hoag disappeared.

Two years later when Hoag’s sister-in-law met a man she claimed was Hoag, he was arrested and charged with family desertion. The man, who said his name was Joseph Parker, was brought to trial where Mrs. Hoag and others testified that he was the missing man, identifying him from a forehead scar.

Despite this, when the judge wanted more proof, another person remembered that the real Hoag had a long scar on the sole of his foot. When the defendant removed his boots and displayed a scar-free foot, that settled the case. Although Hoag never re-surfaced, Parker was cleared.

Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, wanted to believe in Jesus’ resurrection, but he still wanted proof. Once he saw Jesus and His crucifixion scars, he got the necessary evidence.  Interestingly, the lack of a scar cleared one man, but the presence of scars identified another—as the resurrected Savior.

I also have soul-tarnishing scars—sins and failures that blemish my relationship with God. Logically, such flaws mean God must reject me as His child because of these stains. But in His grace and mercy, God has provided the resolution: Christ’s sacrifice as illustrated by His scars, an assurance that proves not only does God accept me, but He also encourages me into further service for Him.

Have Christ’s scars healed you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Anne Adams

Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.