Every Easter I look for the moment where something fresh clicks in my heart. Nearly forty years celebrating this festival with eyes of faith, fifteen of them leading services as a minister. Knowing the stories, accompanying others towards an encounter with the cross and empty tomb, I hope that I too might be touched by the mystery afresh.
It happened on Friday night at the very end of our viewing of ‘The Passion of the Christ’. I knew the closing scene would lift us from the agony of watching His sufferings, and reveal a glimpse of the resurrected Jesus. What fascinated me was seeing His nail pierced hand as He walked out of the tomb. I was puzzled by this in a way that surprised me. Why would His glorified body not be perfect? Why the scars? Surely we will all be able to identify the Son of God in heaven without need of such marks?
I know intellectually that there is something in the ‘deeper magic’ of the universe (to use Aslan’s words) that will always acknowledge redemption and atonement at the very heart of God.
Yet in my soul the scars simply and profoundly lead me to worship and wonder. He will always be our saviour, he will always be our song. The reality is that he died and rose for us to do what we could never do; descending lower that we could go, to defeat sin and plunder hell; lifting us higher than we could reach, to open a way and populate heaven.
I realise this weekend afresh that the scars are His marks of a Champion and I would never wish it otherwise. They will always bring tears to my eyes, an ache and fierce joy to my heart, and wonder to my worship. Thank you Lord, thank you!