Our Savior’s Nail-Scarred Hands

Open Your Bible

John 20:3-29, 1 Peter 1:8-12

As a serial doubter, I have always loved the resurrection story and its honest portrayal of who was quick to believe Jesus was the risen Christ and who was more skeptical. Historically, I have been more like Thomas, wanting proof and evidence: “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20:25).

Mary Magdalene’s reaction to the risen Christ differed from that of Thomas. She believed as soon as Jesus spoke her name. “Rabboni!” she cried in recognition (v.16). And later when she saw the disciples, she said with confidence, “I have seen the Lord!” (v.18).

Thomas trusted Jesus’s scars. Mary trusted Jesus’s voice.

In my early twenties, I went through a dark season of doubt. Out in the real world for the first time, surrounded by people who did not believe in Christianity, much less God, I was suddenly very unsure of my own beliefs. I desperately wanted to prove God’s existence to my unbelieving friends—and to myself. So I searched for answers in apologetics, academics, and science, confident that if I could pull enough evidence together, I could believe again, and my friends would too.

During that youthful season, it was not the hard evidence of academics and apologetics that I grew to trust and understand. Ultimately, what pulled me back to faith was this: At some point in my life I had known the risen Christ. I had felt the love of God through Him. I had experienced grace and forgiveness. I was not sure how to prove the existence of God through science, but I could not deny that I had experienced the risen Christ. I had heard Him say my name.

This is not to say investigating our faith is fruitless. After all, Jesus did not chastise Thomas for asking for proof. He gave it to him, saying, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe” (John 20:27). But even today, when I find myself wrestling with questions about God, the Bible, Jesus, or religion, what I return to is not the evidence I’ve gathered, proving His existence. What I remember is the fact that Jesus has touched my life, and I have seen the marks on it as a result.

When the doubt is crippling, when the road before us is unclear, may we remember this day near the tomb. Mary Magdalene thought she had lost her friend, her teacher, her Rabbi. All was sorrow before and around her—and then, she heard Him speak her name. Have you heard Him speak yours?

(47) Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

47 thoughts on "Our Savior’s Nail-Scarred Hands"

  1. Natalie Tucker says:

    I am so much a Thomas in my faith right now – I want to believe so badly, but I am terrified of getting hurt or being let down. I think that’s what Thomas was doing- he was protecting his heart. He could not bear getting his Hope’s up that the Lord had risen just to be disappointed and fall into even deeper mourning. I am praying that the Lord will heal my heart – that He will be patient with me like he was with Thomas. Lord help me to surrender to your love without fear!

  2. Jen Nohrenberg says:

    “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” //// what a crazy foreshadowing of the beautiful, intimate, personal relationship we would know in Christ through grace and the Spirit after He ascended.

  3. Lisa Macdonald says:

    Wow- I’m usually pretty solid in my beliefs, but strangely yesterday out of nowhere I had doubts- I prayed specifically “Lord I believe, help my unbelief” before opening today’s reading or even seeing the topic… what an amazing (immediate) answer to prayer!!
    “Jesus has touched my life and I’ve seen the marks on it as a result.” This is everything I needed today.
    Thank you Lord for your incredible, gentle graciousness

  4. Tori Espinosa says:

    Thank you for this insight today. I finally feel like someone understands what I’ve been going through these past few years. I really appreciate Andrea’s honesty and vulnerability with her doubt because that’s the rut that I’ve been in. Praise be to God that he still chooses us despite our periods of unbelief, our sinful actions and our broken hearts. I know I’m late to post, but this devotional was what I’ve been needing to hear for a while.