Thanks to the wonders of Wi-fi and the inability of your blogger to resist an innocent (!) challenge (“What? You won’t be blogging while you’re on holiday?”), here is the summary of Dave’s sermon on Sunday morning. I had to laugh when I read his notes: not only do I have to blog, I have to link to a video, Michael Card’s song ‘Known by the Scars’ summarising Dave’s sermon far better than I can do!

Dave preached from John 20:19-31, looking at the famous passage where Thomas wants to see the wounds on Jesus before he will believe that Jesus has really risen from the dead. We can be unduly critical of Thomas at times, calling him ‘doubting’ and often accusing him of being faithless, but God is well able to deal with our questions and there is no need to be afraid of wanting real answers to tough questions. Did Jesus really rise from the dead? This is a hugely important question.

An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drain pipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.

Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor.

Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hand from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe.

With a leap, the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those scarred hands had settled the issue.

Not only is Jesus known by His scars, so are we. Sometimes we bear the scars from past wounds and these affect our current lives. The Christian faith does not deny the pain, the reality of the wounds, the existence of the scars, but our faith enables us to go on, in the name of Christ, even with our wounds, even with our scars.

If you don’t know Jesus, and like Thomas, you aren’t sure that you believe, He’ll graciously show you His scars “that you might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in His name” (Jn. 20:31). The promise of eternal life is real and is available precisely because of Jesus’s scars.