Scars are testimony that the body has vanquished a potential threat. Maybe the injury was the result of a mistake. Or maybe it was the result of a haphazard event the victim had no control over. But scars are usually worn by survivors, giving them a story to tell.
The context for the topic of scars and survivors today is the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation.
Revelation is the last book of the Bible and the first place we turn our attention after the celebration of Easter Sunday. It is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. It is sometimes seen merely as a book containing storm clouds that portend “End Time” events. The reality is quite different. In fact, the word “Revelation” in its original usage has to do with pulling away a curtain and seeing things as they are…TRULY are…not just some day in the future, but right now. And the picture we get when we look at what Revelation reveals is not one in which heroic human activity somehow ushers in the reign of God. It is, instead, a picture of the people of God striving to give faithful witness to Life while living in a world that views them with both terrifying hostility and apathy at the same time. It is a world in which they struggle to endure bearing the wounds of life in a place that at times persecutes but always banishes them from any hope of finding a permanent home there. Theirs is a Lord whose appearance defies description and for whom words fail (see Rev. 1:12–18), even though, deep down, he too bears scars (Rev. 1:7) with a story to tell.
A Nike commercial from several years back depicts athletes with the scars of various injuries. A surfer bearing the marks of a shark bite. A hockey player with a front tooth missing when he smiles. A soccer player holding a ball with a long gash (from a machete?) left on his forehead. Each athlete appears to the tune of Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful…to Me.” No explanation is given…all we see at the end is the Nike swoosh and the words, “Just do it.”
A resurrected Lord Jesus is more than a survivor. He bears the mortal wounds of the cross. But now, though dead, He lives! Such a Lord is One in whom ordinary faith fails (John 20:25). Such a Lord is One with whom we can only be given to testify to Life.
Run the race. Don’t be afraid to let your scars show. After all, scars are what you have in common with the resurrected Lord of Lords.
Just Do It.