If We’re Perfect, Why The Scars?

Q. I think you wrote somewhere that when the rapture occurs, our mortal bodies will transformed to new immortal bodies and will be perfected, free from imperfection. I also was under the impression that the risen Christ, visible to the Apostles and others in Jerusalem, is a model of what our new risen bodies will be like. I wonder then, if we have perfected bodies, why the scars of the crucifixion were still evident in Christ’s body, the nail holes and his side wound? Was this specific to Christ, or are there certain “scars” that we will also maintain for eternity?

A. The passage you’re looking for is 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, and it does state that in the twinkling of an eye our mortal bodies will be changed into perfect, immortal ones. And 1 John 3:2 says when the Lord appears we will be like Him.

We’re also told in John 20:27 and in Rev. 5:6 that scars remain in the resurrection body of Jesus. Why this is so is not explained, but scholars have taken the view that they’ve become emblems of honor, visible reminders of His greatest work and worn with distinction, like a medal or insignia of exalted rank. They’re unique to Him, identifying Him alone as the Savior of mankind. It’s been rightly said that the only man made things in heaven are the scars on the body of our Lord.

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