As we commemorate Good Friday this week, we remember a Saviour who willingly suffered and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins by dying on the cross. The marks of our Lord’s crucifixion are forever etched onto his nail-scarred hands (John 20:19-20, 27). It was sin that nailed him to the cross and his scars testify to the brokenness of the world.
We too have scars and they too testify to our brokenness. They tell the stories of things that went wrong in our lives. Whether they were grave mistakes, missed opportunities, broken dreams or unexpected tragedies, they caused us pain and suffering.
When we view our scars negatively, they become the reasons for our resentment, bitterness or struggles. A failed relationship that remains in our heart, an unfulfilled dream that we refuse to give up, a betrayal that we couldn’t forgive; they continue to inflict pain on us well past their time.
Seeing our life through our scars, we are tempted to see it as a glass half-emptied, believing that it has been less than what it should be. We live with “if only” and if we are not careful, unhappiness and unforgiveness grip our hearts, constraining the life of God within us.
This Good Friday, as we shift our eyes from our scars and behold our Saviour’s nail-scarred hands instead, we might realise that scars are part of God’s redemptive work.
Jesus’ scars tell us that he is our Saviour and our scars tell us why we need a Saviour.
Our scars are part of God’s workings in our life. They are visible reminders that Jesus is our saviour, redeemer and healer. It is when we have experienced deep pain and suffering that we will understand our desperate need for God’s saving grace.
Suffering has a way to impel us to embrace a greater purpose. Superficial living can find no thriving ground in a life deeply wounded and powerfully healed. A deeper faith and a stronger hope are born out of accepting our scars as part of our redemption story, our journey into a fuller grace.
Jesus took our brokenness to the cross. This is why Jesus came. Good Friday happened so that God could bring wholeness to brokenness. It is fitting that we surrender our scars and allow Jesus to mend our brokenness. No matter what pieces need to be fixed back again, Jesus makes everything beautiful in his time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). And this is why Good Friday is “good” when it commemorates such a dark day of suffering that ended with the crucifixion of Christ.
Good Friday marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save us from our sins. It had to happen for us to experience the joy of Easter. Without that day of suffering, sorrow and shed blood of the Saviour on the cross, God could not be both “just and justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26).
The day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil paradoxically set us free from the power of evil!
On Good Friday, we find the convergence of our sins and God’s forgiveness. On the cross of Christ, God’s righteousness coincided with his mercy. Jesus took on the brokenness of the world in exchange for our freedom. Where the nails pierced his now scarred hands, our scars find healing.
Because of Good Friday, we don’t have to doubt the love of our Saviour even in the depth of grief or the battles we fight. If we are willing, our surrendered brokenness brings forth new strength for a greater purpose. It doesn’t only bring fuller grace or life to us but to all around us.
This Good Friday, let us not go through our religious duty of merely remembering or even thanking God for the cross of Christ, but let us allow the blood that was shed to flow over us. Let us allow our bondage to be broken and the balm of God to heal our scars.
At Calvary, the Saviour surrendered himself so that our freedom could be purchased. On Good Friday, good triumphed over evil and mercy won the ultimate victory. Beholding our Saviour’s nailed-scarred hands, may we see our scars too as part of God’s redemptive story and may we lift higher the cross of Christ!