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?

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

  1. Beth Meagher says:

    What a grace and mercy to know that Thomas, chosen by Jesus who traveled with and knew Jesus, expressed doubt OUT LOUD. Jesus in the flesh did not preclude doubt in his faithful disciple. Easy to think I would not experience doubt if, just once, I could see Jesus in the flesh. Thankful for the continual presence of the Spirit.

  2. GramsieSue says:

    Yes. Jesus has touched my life. In oh so many ways. I could fill pages and pages. A neighbor showing up on our doorstep with a dinner casserole saying, “My husband won’t eat leftovers. Will you eat the rest?” Two pieces were missing from a 9 x 13 dish. Without it our 4 children would not have had dinner that night. Oh yes, He provides.

    In the midst of raising our children, taking care of business and home, our marriage began to suffer. Another woman came into the picture. Accusations, lies, tears. All seemed lost. But God….oh yes. He redeems.

    And last week. A gunman entered the building of the business we own. Angry. Grieving. He grabbed an employee and held him at gunpoint. My husband spoke calmly, persuaded him to release the terrified man. And another young man tackled him from behind. He and my husband wrestled the gun away just seconds before the police arrive. No one was hurt. Oh yes. He protects.

    Don’t ever think He’s not with you. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He keeps His promises.

    Blessings, Sisters. ❤️

  3. Susan says:

    The Resurrected King is resurrecting me!

  4. Colleen Garnto says:

    Thank you, Jesus, that you have called my name!

  5. Allison says:

    My favorite part about Easter is that He Lives every day! On this Monday, next week, as we get back to our lives after a busy holiday. He still Lives! And I am still His! Hallelujah! Have a great week sisters!

  6. Sue says:

    Mary is crying and Jesus goes to her.

    The disciples are gathererd together, Jesus goes to them, and twice Jesus says “Peace be with you.”

    Jesus comes to me as well.

    He calls me by name, He shows me compassion, and He gives me peace.

    Indeed, Jesus ‘has touched my life, and I have seen the marks on it as a result.’

    May I be like Mary and tell others “I have seen the Lord!” so they may see Him and believe as well.

  7. Courtney Stanback says:

    I have really benefited from being able to read passages from different books of the Bible on the same page in this study – wow – the transformation in Peter’s life- his heart and his mind

  8. Churchmouse says:

    Jesus’s post-Resurrection appearances are marked by His greeting “Peace be with you.” Because He is risen we can all have peace, be at peace. He conquered death and imparted His Resurrection power and hope to all who believe. Even as the Father had sent Him out, so does He send us out. We will face misunderstanding, skepticism, rejection, and persecution for our faith. Yet, we can walk in peace, the peace He gives, the peace that the world surely doesn’t understand. Indeed, His peace passes understanding. May we walk this journey of faith in peaceful confidence because He is alive!

    1. Carolyn Wollman says:

      Amen!