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Otherworldly Window – Wound Probe

glimpses-of-the-divineKey Bible Verse: “The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the beauty of the earthly bodies”  1 Corinthians 15:40

Bonus Reading: Isaiah 53:1-12

Paul explains about the earthly and heavenly forms of embodied humanity in today’s Key Bible Verse without dispelling the mystery. In both, we know from the “doubting Thomas” account, Jesus carried the scars of crucifixion and spearing.

Thomas had a broken heart from Jesus’ execution, but wouldn’t give himself to an illusion. “I won’t believe it,” he said, “unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side” (John 20:25). Eight days later Jesus met his demand.

The Italian Renaissance artist Caravaggio captured the meaning of this encounter in his The Incredulity of St. Thomas. Theologian Walter Hansen describes this painting: “Jesus places his hand on the arm of Thomas and gently, firmly guides that dirty hand into himself … The other two disciples … are looking with utter amazement [as] the hand of the risen Lord guides the search.”

To piously ignore his wounds is to neglect our own. Jesus invites us to thrust our hands into them. As we accept his dare, we experience his overwhelming love and grace. For, as Isaiah proclaimed, “by his wounds we are healed.”

—Dan Russ in Flesh-and-Blood Jesus

My Response: Why does a Lamb bearing the marks of slaughter figure prominently in John’s vision of heaven?

Adapted from Flesh-and-Blood Jesus (Baker, 2008)

Prayer for the Week:  Thank you, Jesus, for glimpses of your divinity, with markers of your humanity retained, that preview life eternal for us.

 

 

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