We, and those we serve, have been wounded and will be wounded again in the future. The wounds can be spiritual, physical, relational, or emotional.
I recently heard a young British Army chaplain share a Lenten devotion about scars in our life. There are two sides of most scars. On the front side is the wound; on the back side we see the healing. Our perspective determines which, the wound or the healing, the scar represents.
Many of Jesus’ scars started with wounds suffered during His passion week. He was betrayed, denied, and abandoned by those closest to Him; sentenced as a common criminal; and spit upon, beaten, and crucified on a Roman cross. Yet the scarred Lamb that John saw in his Patmos vision, “standing, as though it had been slain” was the One who sat on the throne, was the only One worthy to open the scroll, and to Whom all of heaven and earth proclaimed as worthy for “blessing and glory and might forever and ever” (Revelation 5).
Jesus’ wounds were not the story; they represented the profound and graphic context from which the anointed Lamb’s scars proclaim His victory and glory.
Jeremiah was dwelling on the wound side of the scar as he grieved, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” (Jeremiah 8:22). In contrast we see the apostle Peter’s view. Peter had been deeply wounded through his own sin and weakness. He had been violently opposed for his bold proclamation of the Gospel. He lost fellow disciples who were martyred for their faith and he was soon to be crucified for his own devotion to his Master. Yet he saw it all as mere context to the scars’ victory when he proclaimed “By His wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
So much of today’s culture dwells on victimhood, on wounds that seem resistant to heal. Christ-followers don’t deny the wounds but come alongside the struggling wounded. They reveal their own scars in ways that say, “Yes, I know there is a balm in Gilead that can make the wounded whole and will heal the sin-scarred soul.”
It’s the salve secured by the scarred, yet now Risen Lamb’s victory over sin and death.