December 20, 2020
In the Nativity story, the star pointed the wise men to the baby Jesus. But we cannot have the stars of Christmas without the scars of Christmas. We must remember: Jesus was born to die for our sins.
We worship a God with scars; they are not incidental, but so fundamental that Jesus carried those scars with Him to Heaven.
There are three things these scars tell us about God in human flesh.
First, the scars tell us that as a man, Jesus suffered. In John 20:27, Jesus invited his doubting disciple, Thomas, to examine His scars, which He received when He was crucified. These scars testify that He suffered for us, and still suffers with us, whether in grief, in persecution, or when the church is unfaithful.
The scars also show us that Jesus sympathizes; they remind us that God has been with us, He has felt what we feel and He understands our pain. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Pain has a protecting purpose; it warns us to pivot away from the things that harm us. Pain also has a unifying purpose. As the physical human body comes to the aid of a suffering member, pain draws people together.
Finally, these scars reveal to us that Jesus saves. He did not have to suffer. Yet, He moved into our suffering, took it on Himself, so that we could be saved from our sins. Isaiah 53:5 says, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed."
Adrian Rogers says, “Jesus came to this earth that we might go to heaven. Jesus became the Son of man that we might become the sons and the daughters of God. Jesus died that we might live.”
Today, think not only of the stars but the scars of Christmas. Jesus had some scars, and if we follow Him, so will we. Let your pain point people to the Gospel; testify of how God healed you. And if you are suffering today, bring your wounds to Jesus; use your scars for His glory.