Screams poured from the second floor of the burning house and cascaded down to the gathered crowd below as people watched, immobilized. No one seemed to know what action should be taken to rescue the young child trapped upstairs. His grandmother perished in the fire as she attempted to rescue him. A stranger appeared, assessed the situation and in a moment climbed up an iron drain pipe close to the window where the child was seen. He gathered the boy into his arms and to the cheers of the crowd he climbed down that hot drain pipe. While saving the boy, his hands were burned and terribly scarred.
Some time passed, and the custody of the boy was to be discussed at a town meeting. One by one, different people spoke as to how they could best take care of the child. Then a man stood and held out his scarred hands. The youngster immediately recognized him as the man who had saved him by climbing up and down the scalding drain pipe.
The others rose and left without a word. The boy embraced the man who had saved his life. Those scarred hands said more than any words could say.
Jesus the Savior has come with His scarred hands to speak love, redemption and peace to a world in need of saving!Jesus' Hands of Peace Turn Our Fears to Joy (John 20:19-20)
How often did Jesus tell His disciples they would feel the full brunt of the hatred of the world as He experienced it (John 15:18-20
)? If the Master was persecuted, would not His followers, also? They finally grasped the significance as post-crucifixion and post-resurrection they felt fear surging through their hearts and minds. Locking themselves inside the upper room, they cowered every time there was a knock on the door. Maybe that is why Jesus decided to enter without knocking or unlocking the door. He wanted to assure them it really was Him and they need not fear.
Roger Fredrikson asked the question pointedly: "How often the contemporary church finds itself behind closed doors, fearful and ineffectual, living on the wrong side of the resurrection. The problems are so vast and the enemy so overwhelming, and all the talk about Jesus seems futile. What can be done but hide in the sanctuary discussing how desperate the situation is?"
Standing in the middle of the circle of disciples, Jesus showed them His hands where they were pierced with nails and His side where the spear had entered. There is no question as to who this person is; it is the resurrected Jesus! These scars authenticated His ministry of salvation to the world. As the church, His body on Earth, we must bear the scars of ministry if we are to be authentic in our ministry to others, as well.