Luke 24: 36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
On Easter Sunday afternoon the disciples were hiding from authorities and the public in fear of their lives. I don’t think we can imagine how they felt having seen all they did. We can get down. The devil and the world told them and tell us there is no God and that he’s dead. All people know there is something inside mankind that scientist can’t explain. There is more to us than an animal. When we look around and see the pattern and consistency of things we have to conclude something is greater than we are. I was agnostic—a skeptic—before I got saved. I questioned God and his existence. Still I knew in my heart there had to be a creator. I read a lot but stayed away from the Bible. It would work on my heart and soul. Even though skeptical I would pray at night not to die and go to hell. I knew there was a barrier between God and me. Once at the hospital with my brother I saw a gospel tract called “This Is Your Life.” It was in comic book style and talked about a person like me who didn’t believe in God and didn’t have time for him. He died and it showed him in the grave, then in hell, then at the judgment. When the books were opened the angel said to him this is your life. He realized he should have believed and not listened to the world. He asked why he let himself be fooled. It ended asking if this was my life. From that point on I was under conviction. I’m thankful for the night that Jesus drew me to him. What drew me to Jesus was the preaching of the cross.
The last time the disciples saw Jesus he was dead. His body had been pierced many times. Psalm 22 says he was so marred he was unrecognizable as a human. When we think of his death on the cross, we can’t help but believe. If we don’t it is no one else’s fault but our own. Our sins are ours. Something had to be done for them. It was hopeless. There was no way to fix ourselves. In mercy and grace God sent a Savior. The devil’s job is to take you to hell. He wants you to look at the cross as if Jesus was just a man. He doesn’t want us to admit our sin but nobody can look in the mirror and say “I’m not a sinner.” We all are. Without a Savior we would be in far worse shape than we can even imagine.
Jesus was wounded for our wounds. He died because he knew we would have to. You can be a church member and let people think you’re all right but hanging around church won’t do it. God sees our sin. We can’t hide it from him. It’s more than a belief just like we believe the sun will come up tomorrow. We must trust and believe him, the one who hung on Calvary’s cross. He took it all and was bruised from head to feet.
When Jesus arose he arose in that body. The wounds were there, not gaping but scarred. Jesus told the disciples behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. This was a testimony to them and us. Why? No matter how upside down life is, no matter if things don’t seem to add up we know that between us and a holy God is our Savior. He says Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. The cross attempted to cripple Jesus. He had calmed storms. He took the hand of the dead daughter of Jarius and brought her back to life. Nothing will help us believe more than beholding the hands and feet of Jesus. He’s not a crippled Savior. He kept the scars to give us a body with no evidence of affliction. He chose it so we can remember how much he loves us. We’ll make it to heaven through him.
He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. The wonder of heaven won’t be a glorified body. We don’t even deserve to go there but we will and we’ll see the one who suffered for us. He’ll say behold my hands and my feet. It’s real, people. It’s the invitation to come and behold the Master. Let him take care of the troubles of your soul.