"Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side."
They'd abandoned him. Fled. Deserted. Ran in fear. And now they were locked away in hiding. Crushed with guilt, fear & uncertainty. So when Jesus appeared to the disciples on the evening of his resurrection, he met a group of people in desperate need of consolation.
What was going through their minds that night, I wonder? "How could we have left him like that?" (Remembering Jesus' arrest, trial & crucifixion - but they were nowhere to be found!) "Is this his ghost, come back to haunt us?!?" "We don't deserve to live!"
Jesus knew. Everything. So the first words out of his mouth were: "Peace be with you!" NOT... "How could you?" or "I'm so disappointed..." or even, "If only..." But, "PEACE!" And then he showed them his scars from the crucifixion. He showed them the signs of the pain he had endured. Presumably to prove that he wasn't a ghost, but it was really him. And the scars changed everything. They knew it was Jesus. And they rejoiced!
I once heard a speaker say that likewise, God can use our scars and wounds to bring comfort to others in need. Which is kind of an amazing thing, don't you think? Those painful chapters from our own history... those times we either messed up big time... or got hurt by others... (or both!)... God can, down the road, use those experiences to bring comfort to others. If only we can get past the "why me?" stage. "Peace be with you," Jesus says.
No one likes scars. Whether external or internal, we know they're there. But God brings healing and new life to scarred people. We're all scarred people (sometimes even scared & scarred at the same time). "Peace be with you," he says TO us. "Peace be with you," he says THROUGH us. Wow.
Just imagine... how God might use your scars and wounds for good...