Scars tell stories don’t they? I would guess that most everyone here has one or more scars they could point to that would tell us a story about you. And down through history, the center focus – the powerful symbol of the forgiveness and the healing of our hearts that God offers through His Son – has been the nail scarred hands and feet and the wound in his side.
Heaven Is For Real! is a simple, yet profound, story written by Todd Burpo, a pastor in the Wesleyan Church, about his son, Colton, who, at the age of three, experienced a near death trauma (that I will let you read about for yourself).
The story that began to emerge for Colton’s parents in the months following that experience is the beautiful and extraordinary story of this little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Off and on through the next several weeks I will be using little pieces of Colton’s story to focus our attention on the Christ who we love and serve, and on heaven, the place that Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him.
19That Sunday evening, the disciples were together behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Jesus stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” 20When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were glad to see the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
22After he had said this, he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23Whenever you forgive sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, who was called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. 25The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord.” Thomas told them, “I refuse to believe this unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my fingers into them, and put my hand into his side.”
26A week later Jesus’ disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Take your hand, and put it into my side. Stop doubting, and believe.”
28Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you’ve seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me but believe.” (John 20:19-29 GW)
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