11 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Acts 1:9 (CSB): “After he had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
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 “When it was evening on that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced 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 “But Thomas (called ‘Twin’), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were telling him, ‘We’ve seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put 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 “A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though 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 look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.’ Thomas responded to 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 what happened next.
Acts 1:9 “After he had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight.”
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 “Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides, sealed with seven seals. I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. I wept and wept because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent 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!
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Lord Jesus, I’m not sure how this all works but it sure seems to me that You might bear some of Your crucifixion scars for eternity. With my current understanding, I hope and pray that this isn’t true. But, if it is, it will be a powerful reminder for eternity of what You were willing to do to secure my forgiveness and fit me for Heaven. Lord Jesus, praise Your Name! Amen.