Nails That Don't Hold
“Very early Sunday morning, before sunrise, Mary Magdalene made her way to the tomb. And when she arrived she discovered that the stone that sealed the entrance to the tomb was moved away! So she went running as fast as she could to go tell Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. She told them, “They’ve taken the Lord’s body from the tomb, and we don’t know where he is!”
Then Peter and the other disciple jumped up and ran to the tomb to go see for themselves. They started out together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He didn’t enter the tomb, but peeked in, and saw only the linen cloths lying there. Then Peter came behind him and went right into the tomb. He too noticed the linen cloths lying there, but the burial cloth that had been on Jesus’ head had been rolled up and placed separate from the other cloths.
Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first went in, and after one look, he believed! For until then they hadn’t understood the Scriptures that prophesied that he was destined to rise from the dead. Puzzled, Peter and the other disciple then left and went back to their homes.”
“That evening, the disciples gathered together. And because they were afraid of reprisals from the Jewish leaders, they had locked the doors to the place where they met. But suddenly Jesus appeared among them and said, “Peace to you!” Then he showed them the scars of his hands and his side—they were overjoyed to see the Lord with their own eyes!”
Now, One of the twelve wasn’t present when Jesus appeared to them—it was Thomas, whose nickname was “the Twin.” So the disciples informed him, “We have seen the Lord with our own eyes!”
Still unconvinced, Thomas replied, “There’s no way I’m going to believe this unless I personally see the scars of the nails in his hands, touch them with my finger, and put my hand into the wound of his side where he was pierced!”
Then eight days later, Thomas and all the others were in the house together. And even though all the doors were locked, Jesus suddenly stood before them! “Peace to you,” he said.
Then, looking into Thomas’ eyes, he said, “Put your finger here on the scars of my hands. Here—put your hand on my side and see for yourself. Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe!”
Then the words spilled out of his heart—“You are my Lord, and you are my God!”
An Uncomfortable Space for Faith to Grow
Thomas had to endure eight long days of waiting before Jesus appeared to him. I can only imagine what those eight days held for him; moments of despair, sorrow, dashed hope, unquantifiable grief, deeply rocked faith? God left a space- an uncomfortable space- in Thomas’s heart for faith to be cultivated and forged.
Have you ever had to wait?
Think back on a time where God left an uncomfortable space- how did it produce faith? What attributes of God did you discover?
Maybe you’re in a space of waiting- where the light has grown dim, where your tired heart is losing hope?
Can you wait in silence and listen with love? Can you wait with purpose, patience hope and love and give space for faith to grow?
Our Nails Have Been Dealt With
After eight days, Jesus showed up and imparted the peace their ravished hearts needed most. His eyes fell on Thomas, and he said, “look….no more nails. The nails that supported the weight of my body, the nails that pinned sin and shame down- they’re gone! Put your fingers on the scars. Put your fingers where the sin and the shame once were, and see that those nails don’t hold me anymore.”
Jesus kept His scars- not His wounds, and He definitely did not keep the nails.
The nails are in the cross, where they hold down sin, shame, death and darkness. Not just a vague or undefined sin- but our sin, and our shame. Those nails were driven deep into the wrists of our Savior. He literally took them on, and then, by the power and authority of God, He overcame them and left them behind.
We’ve been wounded by nails too. We’ve messed up and harmed others and others have messed up and harmed us. And we tend to carry around the wounds and the nails- pinned down by their effects. Why do we hold onto the nails of our past and our brokenness when they’ve already been dealt with? My guess, and my experience, is that we don’t know what to do with the pain that they cause.
Can we trust God to enact justice, do we trust God with the ashes of our life to build something new? Will He hold our hearts carefully and leave us better than we’ve been left before?
The nails did not hold Jesus, and they don’t have to hold us either.
He says It. Is. Finished, and we are forgiven and free. Will you step into that freedom today?
What’s got to go, what needs to be healed, where do you need to trust, what can be surrendered, who do you need to forgive?
We can be like Jesus and say, “look where the nails were,” but we have to have faith that Jesus can help us overcome them.
Show them your scars, not your wounds
There’s a difference between being wounded and being scarred. Scars are proof of healing. When Jesus appeared to the disciples, He didn’t show them His wounds, He showed them His scars.
We cannot live this life effectively if we don’t move beyond our woundedness.
“What wounded us does not have to hold us forever. God can release the greatest strength and power in our lives, right where the nails were.” Steven Furtick
We keep trying to prove the presence of God in our lives by our successes but Jesus proved His power through His scars. When we show people our scars, and tell them a story of how God redeemed and healed us, we broadcast hope.
Hebrews 12:1 TPT “So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into.Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.”
If we believe that the power of God resurrected Jesus, surely we can have faith, belief and trust that His power and love can be a healing balm for our wounds? Go to the One who heals, and then go tell everyone about the great work He’s done for you.