Monday, May 14, 2012

Family Friendly Jesus

A co-worker randomly walked up to me & showed me a scab on her arm today. It was kind of gross.  Apparently it started out as a bug bite, but she had scratched the hades out of it till it was all red & swollen. I tried to act interested & somewhat sympathetic. As I walked away wondering what the point of all that was,  I was suddenly reminded of Jesus' wounds.

So often, we picture Jesus in a clean, white robe with nice, neat little holes in His hands & feet. Maybe He has a few nicks on His forehead from the crown of thorns & a small slit in His side where the centurion thrust his spear. There is no blood or bruising, only scars. This is the family friendly Jesus.

But today, for the first time in my life, I began to consider Christ's wounds, as if they were "real". If my co-worker's little scab was gross, what must Jesus have looked like after being beaten & crucified? Were all His wounds miraculously healed when He rose from the dead? Or did He still look like a man who had His flesh ripped open by whips laden with metal & bone? Was His skin red, swollen & scabby? Did He have bruises? Or did He really display only scars? 

If I was a disciple who encountered the family friendly Jesus after the resurrection, I might have a hard time believing. Like Thomas, I would say "Show me the wounds." Did he touch Jesus' scars only? Would that really be enough to compel to him to exclaim "My Lord & my God!"? I don't think it would be enough for me...

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