“Peace be with you! (John 20:19-20)
“Peace be with you!’
And while He said this, He showed them His hands and His side.” (John 20:19-20)
Christ is the God with the wounds.
If there is anything that distinguishes Him from all beings in heaven and on earth it has to be the wounds in a perfect resurrection body. Wounds are plentiful among people on earth—but no human being on earth is yet risen. Countless deceased rose after Easter—but no deceased has wounds like His.
To demonstrate to his unbelieving followers that this is His identifying mark, Christ shows them His hands and His side. If that does not suffice, they may touch His wounds.
Hundreds of years later St. Francis sees in a vision an overwhelming light figure that tells him he is Christ. St. Francis looks right through the impressive figure and says: “My Lord is lowly in appearance. Show me your wounds.” Thereupon the devil flees, who for the occasion had shown himself like a wolf in sheep’s clothes.”
Christ is the God with the wounds. When He shows His wounds the words always sound: “Peace be with you.” When we hear these words at the altar He wants to let His breath stream into us to recreate us in His image and likeness. His peace is not of this world. He has wrested Himself free of pain, of death, and of demons. This most precious gift of life out of death He wants to share with us, so that we bear His peace in us—even in a world of pain, death, and demons.
Rev. Bastiaan Baan, April 16, 2023
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