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Second Sunday After Easter – April 24, 2022

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Second Sunday After Easter – April 24, 2022

The identity of the crucified Jesus as the risen Christ must be asserted to contradict the errors of Docetism and Gnosticism.  Both these false beliefs, Docetism, and Gnosticism, hold that Jesus the Christ was entirely a divine spirit that merely inhabited the body of the man, Jesus of Nazareth.  This divine spirit escaped that dying flesh prior to its death and then appeared as an undying spirit-person in all its resurrection appearances.  That undying spirit-person, however, would not have borne the marks of Jesus’ passion… would not have been wounded as the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth’s had been.  The wounds of thorn, nail, and spear marked the resurrected body testifying to the reality of a bodily (not merely spiritual) resurrection… testifying to the singular person of Jesus Christ who was both true God, Son of the Father from eternity, and true man born of the virgin Mary… testifying that the resurrected Jesus is indeed the crucified Jesus.  And so it is that we confess to the “resurrection of the body.”

Once the Old Creation has passed away… once hunger, tears, and death have been vanquished… once the mortal, perishable body has been changed into that immortal, imperishable body of the resurrection… once the newness of the New Creation has been established, where will the memory of the Old Creation’s historical reality reside?  It will reside in the body of Christ.  That your God will bear the wounds of thorn, nail, and spear throughout eternity gives silent witness to the past reality of sin, death, and the power of the devil.  Those wounds testify to the suffering of God from the sin of his people.  Isaiah tells us truly, “Surely he has borne our griefs, carried our sorrows… was wounded for our transgressions… was crushed for our iniquities… yet… with his stripes, we are healed” (cf. Isa. 53:4).  And so it is that we confess with the Council of Chalcedon that insofar as the divine nature was joined to the human nature in the one person of Jesus Christ, we can say that God suffered and even died.

Jesus bears the open wounds of thorn, nail, and spear into eternity giving silent witness to the identity of the crucified Jesus with the resurrected Jesus… giving silent witness to the historical reality of the old, sin-broken creation… giving silent witness for those wounds bear no accusation and make no new promises.

Table Talk:  Discuss your understanding of the wounds identifying your God as the God who died for his people.
Pray: Jesus grant that I confess you wounds and all.  Amen

John 20:19-31 English Standard Version

19 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.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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.”

26 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.” 27 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.