It is so fun(!) to read through the Scriptures and find hints about what Heaven will be like. It will be where followers-of-Jesus reside forever and the Bible has so much to say about it.
Did you know that not everything in Heaven is going to be perfect? The Bible tells us so.
Maybe a more accurate way of saying it is that a certain Someone in Heaven is going to be perfectly imperfect.
Let me show you what I mean. As I read through God’s Word this morning, I came across the first appearance of Jesus to His disciples. It occurred on the same day (Sunday) that He rose from the dead and vacated the tomb.
John 20:19–20 (ESV) “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”
Did you get that? Jesus showed them His hands and side as proof that He was really Jesus. That action makes no sense unless He was showing them the scars where the nails went into His hands/wrists and the scar where the spear went into His side.
So, in His resurrection body, on the day that He rose from the dead, Jesus still had the scars in His hands and side. His resurrection body wasn’t baby-soft and flawless – it had scars.
Thomas, one of the Apostles, wasn’t with the others when Jesus appeared to them on that first Sunday. Further, he wasn’t convinced when they told him that they had seen Jesus.
Listen to what Thomas said it would take for him to believe that Jesus had truly risen from the dead.
John 20:24–25 (ESV) “Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.'”
Thomas made it clear that he wouldn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead until he saw the wounds that Jesus sustained on the cross. In his mind, they would be the proof he needed to believe.
Let’s fast forward to the next Sunday, one week later. Does Jesus still have the scars?
John 20:26–28 (ESV) “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!'”
Obviously, Jesus showed Thomas exactly what Thomas needed to see. The scars were still there a week after Jesus rose from the dead.
Now, fast-forward to the 40th day after His resurrection (Acts 1:3). As He spoke to His disciples, the Scripture tells us that “He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).
That is significant! Why? Because when Jesus left earth and went back to Heaven … (wait for it) … He took His physical body with Him! His physical body didn’t drop back to earth. He took it to Heaven.
So, let’s ask these final questions: Was Jesus’ body transformed en route to Heaven? Does it still have its scars, its imperfections?
What I have to say or you have to say in answer to those previous questions is irrelevant. The real answer must be found in God’s Word.
As we fast-forward to some unknown point in time in the future, we enter the Heavenly Throne Room. We realize that the horrific years of Tribulation are about to begin. But, the Scroll that contains the judgments remains sealed. Only someone who is worthy can open that Scroll and begin the 7 Year Judgment upon planet earth. But, who is worthy?
Listen to these next verses and listen even more closely at how Jesus is described…
Revelation 5:1–6 (ESV) “Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’ And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth…”
While the language of the book of Revelation is sometimes literal and sometimes picturesque, it is clear that Jesus was described as “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” It certainly appears that Jesus, at some point in time in the future, still carries His scars from the cross.
In fact, it seems as if Jesus will wear those scars forever. They now seem to be a part of Him for eternity.
Jesus is perfectly imperfect … and it will be a constant reminder to us of what our God did for us to secure us a place in that Heavenly Home!
Praise His Name!