When Jesus was resurrected He still had the scars from the crucifixion. How are we to understand this in the light of our resurrection bodies? Is this particular to Christ because of the purpose that it ultimately served?
Yes, I believe it’s a dramatic exception to the rule. Why? Because the price of sin is not just death, but eternal death. No human being can transcend what is eternal, except Christ. So I think, in the space of six hours, He paid a qualitatively eternal price for us on the cross. The extent of that price is reflected in the permanent scars on His body.
The only one who did not deserve to pay an eternal price for sin is the one who did. I do not mean that Christ continues to suffer, He doesn’t. He died once for all. I just think the scars in hands and feet reflect the truth I’m talking about. Another reason is perhaps that God wants it to be emphatic that Christ’s resurrection body is the same as His original body, and not simply a new independent creation. This continuity is a critical point, and since His resurrection is the first fruits, the prototype, it tells us about ours.
I think it also reminds us that the incarnation of Christ is permanent. He became a man and will remain a man for all eternity. He will not simply appear to be a man, He will be an actual man forever.
Our scars and disabilities are the result of life in a sin cursed world, not as a result of our paying a qualitatively eternal atoning price for sin, which of course we did not and could not. So when God says no more suffering and pain and death, and the old things are passed away (Revelation 21), that would mean we would be forever free from the bodily results of sin and curse.
For more information on the subject of Heaven, see Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.