A striking feature about this Gospel scene is that the Risen Christ retained the scars on the passion on His body. It’s quite extraordinary. Jesus had a transformed, exalted, glorious risen body that could pass through doors yet he kept the scars. Christ could have miraculously erased those scars after the Resurrection but chose not to. They were his personal “signature”.
We can often recognise someone who has changed dramatically over the years by certain marks and scars. It was only when the apostles saw the scars in his hands and side that they realised that this was the Jesus of Nazareth that they knew. That’s why Thomas wanted to see the scars.
Whenever we see a scar on our knee, finger or chest we remember how it got there. Maybe we have some scars from our own negligence or that of others. Some came intentionally through surgery and others through violence. Some of those scars are on the outside while others are on the inside, but each one has a story. The Risen Lord kept his scars as the evidence of his love.
They also help us keep his Passion and Death joined with his Resurrection. It can be spiritually distorting to separate them. If we emphasise the sufferings of Jesus, it is important to remember that those sufferings led to his Resurrection. If we reflect on the Resurrection of Jesus, we need to remember that the avenue to new life was through a crucifixion and death. The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ are all linked. Theologians call this fusion of the Passion, death and Resurrection of Christ the “Paschal Mystery.” His scars are also a promise. The Risen Christ showed them His scars and still has them, to show us that through Him we can have healing and spiritual victory!