Found this poem written by someone who experienced the trauma of WWI. In that war countless millions experienced unimaginable scars, physical and spiritual! This poem points to the One who understands “scars”, the One who bore all the ills of mankind at the Cross!
The witnessed act of Christ, after His resurrection, showing his scars he endured from the nails and spear to the disciples, especially Thomas, demonstrated another part of Christ’s mission. First, not only did He take our place and suffered death for us so that we could have redemption from sin, secondly, He also arose with a new body showing that a time is appointed for Believers when they also will have a brand new body, incorruptible and eternal.
But thirdly the scars! That lets us know that the toils of life, those many things which wear a person down, which effect not only the body but also the heart, spirit, and soul as well, it lets us know that He understands that part as well. By virtue of His death He has secured for us freedom from the curse of sin and an eternal home in heaven, and by the physical scars shown on His body to the disciples and the mental scars endured when He cried those words “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?”, he has secured for us help and support and comfort in this life for however many years we are given. He goes with us and helps us to endure as He endured himself.
As it says in Hebrews 4:15—
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”
“Jesus of the Scars” by Edward Shillito
If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.
The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.
If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.
The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.
“I came to fully appreciate the truth …. we escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.”
Words spoken by General George Butler in a speech a few years after retiring in 1994. He was referencing the “Single Integrated Operational Plan” or SIOP, which was the nuclear war plan of the US, which he read when he assumed the leadership role of the Strategic Air Command in 1991.
John McCain in this Newsmax article is right about our country and no, it is not Donald Trumps fault!, it is the result of Obama’s lack of leadership—we may have crossed the Rubicon and have no choice but take our “lumps” as it were and let history decide our final position! It may not be welcome by most Americans.
Our problem is the Divine Intervention aspect of our history—it is clear Divine Providence has been an “Invisible Hand” in many ways helping us—but with our rejection of God in so many quarters today, will that Hand be fully withdrawn? And has it in large part already occurred?
Somehow in a National sense we must recognize again that we do need “luck” and “skill”, but we need “Divine Intervention” in the greatest of proportion!
Materialist Worldview and the Resurrection
I came across a very interesting theory in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy. The article was dealing with the concept of justice/injustice in a Materialistic worldview.
Some preliminary thoughts. One of the philosophical problems which has emerged since the Enlightenment and its scientific worldview was the process of slowly making religion, particularly Christianity as an outdated kind of thinking, was the problem of values. In other words, what is the origin of values, of any values? Most of us don’t worry about this too much because the fruit of Western thinking, especially the Christian values, still abounds.
But as science makes more of an inroads into people’s trust, as in thinking science can really solve most of our problems, even those of a spiritual nature, what we call good and bad and why we make those distinctions will become very important. A total rejection of religious thinking and a total reliance on science will inevitably make every decision a matter of politics!
That will seem to be the logical when we examine the worldview of science which, with the exception of a minority, is exclusively evolutionist! Why that matters is that pure evolution has nothing to say about values and ethics. Evolution is brutal, impersonal, blind, purposeless, and valueless! If we took a cross section of every ethical maxim and value-laden rule and asked how did that emerge—then the values question becomes obvious! Any kind of thinking which we have arrived at has to be sourced in the very cosmic material which is influenced by evolutionary processes, namely the atoms and molecules of our brain. So the movement of electrons and the chemical processes taking place in the brain is undergoing continual evolutionary change even as I write. It may be slow, but what is viewed today as a “value” may not be down the road—so what is “right”?
With that state of affairs, one could then ask about actions which have made the news in the past few years, for example, what makes Isis’ acts of beheading innocents wrong, or what makes those terrorists who go through theaters and killing as many as they can, wrong? What do we appeal to? Our evolved thinking? Isis’ thinking could also be claimed as “evolved”—evolution makes no distinctions and so then how can we? We really can’t, and that is where ultimately politics will have to be the arbiter and the world may not like where this will eventually head since it will be a matter of who has the power! Hence our future if we are not careful!
Back to the article. One of the questions confronted is the idea of justice and injustice. The article makes one feel the tensions brought about by the science/evolution worldview and its possible atheistic “resignation”! The “absurdity of a world without God” is even mentioned. To avoid the consequences of those tensions, which any reasonable person should recognize as a bad state of affairs, an effort was made to justify “bodily resurrection” as a way of making life seem more attractive. Now, resurrection should not be possible according to present day science—as the article states about science’s thoughts on the matter: “We die, and we remain dead.” But due to some theories about the mathematics of “infinite” quantities, the author sees an opening for the idea of bodily resurrection. These mathematical theories generally prohibit the possibility of science/mathematics ever completely encompassing all “logical possibilities” and with some tricky reasoning an argument is made that bodily resurrection is a “logical possibility” and so not absolutely prohibited by science after all.
The problem that is not answered is whether it really really can happen and following that, what is the “how” of resurrection. And, this whole discussion is not predicated on a God who will do this later, this is all assumed without a “God” behind the scenes. So the idea comes across as just some kind of therapeutic notion, or a kind of “pretending”, which if bought into, makes life easier to face. Sure, in a world in which we are finite, then how are we to really know that bodily resurrection just can’t occur on its own? But the way this is presented is a leap!
In this article, the ultimate injustice is death! If we have a “chance” of being resurrected then that takes away the injustice in a way! Knowing that bodily resurrection is possible serves to counter the injustice in the world and so allows one to not give in to a nihilistic life! But at the end of the day, I really don’t think many people will buy this!!! Some years age I remember a quote by an evolutionist in which, paraphrasing, he said that immortality is a part of life! After all, when we die and our bodies get broken down into its respective atoms, they will be absorbed into other structures of the universe—hence we live on!! Sorry, that just doesn’t capture immortality for me. The same for just the “idea” of bodily resurrection—thinking something may happen due to some mathematical possibility just doesn’t give much comfort—human nature is a bit more complex than to fall for that kind of thing.
It did interest me that the concept of bodily resurrection was considered in this way! Was he influenced by Christianity? I don’t know but, for the writer, there seems to be a “sense” that something beyond this material world that we experience, is needed to offer “hope”.
He is on the right track because in Christianity, resurrection is also the ultimate source of hope! But the bodily resurrections we are looking forward to are not predicated on some “chance” possibility, but instead is based on the actual Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who will do the same for His followers. And for the record, His resurrection has been challenged but never refuted—so this is an actual real hope which has endured, one that a person can stake this life upon, and have for 2000 years! To the Christian, we don’t look at resurrection as a “panacea” idea but a real event which will occur. The confidence one can have in the resurrection after receiving Christ is hard to put into words but to those who believe, it is not hard to understand!
So I end with the Apostle Paul:
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable…For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
I’ll stick to that!