Jesus’ Wounds, His Resurrection Body, and Our’s

 

Picture Credit: L O O K, Creative Commons

A question that is occasionally discussed late at night around the campfire, or pizza boxes, is “Why did Jesus have wounds on his resurrection body?” Such a question will never be finally answered until the Second Advent, but I hope I am not straying off the straight-and-narrow with a bit of theological speculation on this subject.

Paul says that Jesus resurrection body was spiritual (), heavenly (), and imperishable (). Likewise, his body was very physical (, ). When Jesus appeared to his disciples in the days following his resurrection from the dead, he bore some of the marks of his execution on a cross (, ). What might this mean? And what might it mean for us? After all, we will receive resurrection bodies in the same way that Jesus did (, , ).

Here begins the speculation, because the Bible doesn’t really say what it means. I don’t think Jesus showed up after his resurrection bearing all of his wounds. He would have been a hideous mess who would been an unlikely candidate for the local gardener (), let alone a sensible dinner companion (). We know from the above that he had the holes in his hands, feet and side. We also know that he “was wounded for our transgressions” (), and that he bore our sins in his body; that “by his wounds [we] have been healed.” ()

Could it be, then, that Jesus still bore scars on his post-resurrection body because those scars are a sign of the most beautiful of sacrifices? Those same scars made others whole, and brought life to those who had none. I think Jesus still bears those same scars today as he awaits the reconciliation of all things to himself, and that he will bear them eternally in the New Heavens and the New Earth. After all, the heavenly hosts sing a new song to the “Lamb who was slain.” () Jesus will bear them proudly, as the symbol of his defeat of sin and death, and as a badge of his love for the church. Seeing as he’ll be a bridegroom, maybe they will be his functional wedding ring. They are a symbol of his faithfulness and love.

What about us? If we are to receive the same treatment, then does this mean that we’ll bear some scars? I think so. Have you noticed how elderly people have lines on their face? Sometimes they’re deep from much smiling, other times from frowning and tears. Maybe the father who slaved in the mines will bear a wound on his back from the countless hours he worked in order to provide for his children. Maybe the soldier who died in battle will bear the marks of the bullet that struck his heart. Maybe the mother who prayed and wept for her children will have scared knees and beautiful eyes which will speak of joyful sorrow. Maybe we will bear the marks of our godly sacrifices also. And maybe those scars, which were wrought in painful and troubling circumstances in this life, will be badges of honour in the next. They will be badges we can share with our creator-saviour Jesus, who’s scars and sacrifices we will be celebrating for eternity.

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,

38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

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