Tag Archives: Sign

Grace, Ransom, Healer

John 20:
25…But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though 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; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Ransom; a payment for the release of a prisoner

Thomas shared a real-time relationship with Jesus, but all these centuries later the nickname “doubting” is still the first thing we remember about him. “Doubting is a nickname that doesn’t really fit because as the verses show, in that moment he was absolutely certain.  “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

Each heart of those friends closest to Jesus had been wounded by the betrayal that led to Jesus’s death.  For Thomas that wound had festered into doubt.  Some of the disciples had seen Jesus, but not him. “Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Then Jesus singled out Thomas.  

The beauty of this story is that Thomas’s doubts have became incidental.  Jesus showed Thomas the scars of His own wounds one-by-one for a specific purpose; that his wounded heart might be ransomed from doubt and healed.  That makes scars the most important point of this story. 

Wounds often leave a scar and healed scars still have a purpose for friends of Jesus today.  Scars can tell a story of healing that has the power to ransom someone else’s doubt and lead them to repentance.  Scars are not to be wasted.   They are the evidence that Jesus heals wounded hearts and gives them a sign to share of the resurrecting love of God Almighty,  Alleluia!

Psalm 119:169-176 ת Taw – Sign, Branded Mark, “T”

Psalm 119:169-176 ת Taw – Sign, Branded Mark, “T”
169 May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word.
170 May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise.
171 May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.
172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.
173 May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation,Lord, and your law gives me delight.
175 Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

Today is the last post on Psalm 119. The first was on July 18. Each of those 74 days I’ve assumed these titles for the 22 sections, written in this way, were to be a meditative hint. The Psalmist has definitely saved the best for last.

He’s weathered the storms of life by hanging onto this; God is the only sure thing. That’s the high note of this final section. His emotions might not always be able to keep up with that confidence but he knows he can count on God to find a way to bridge that gap. That’s the basis of everything he asks as he ends this chapter and chooses this very special last title.

The ancient image of Taw is a type of “mark,” probably of two sticks crossed to mark a place and meaning “sign” and “signature.” The Psalmist has chosen to end his song of faith and survival with this signature that is the inspired sign of our future…the cross.

Click here for the sign.