Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

06/24/2020

Bobby Dockery

 Fayetteville AR

HaveWe Forgotten The Scars

 

 One of the South’s greatest generals in the Civil War was John B. Gordon of Georgia. Though not a professional soldier, he rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant general and corps commander at age 32. At the Battle of Antietam, Gordon was horribly wounded — shot twice in the leg, once in the shoulder, and once through the cheek. He bore the scars for the rest of his life.

 

 Years after the war, Gordon ran for the U.S. Senate. One of his political opponents was a veteran who had served under him. The two had quarreled over politics and the man vowed he would do all in his power to defeat Gordon. Election day came. The veteran marched resolutely into the polling place to cast his vote against his old commander. There he saw General Gordon, his once handsome face now disfigured by scars. At the sight, memory came flooding back and tears ran down his cheeks. Turning to observers the veteran said: “It’s no use, boys, I can’t do it... I had forgotten the scars…”

 

 Many who once marched with Jesus have forgotten His scars... They live heedless of the fact He was wounded for their transgressions and bruised for their iniquities! Remembering would make a profound difference in the way we look at ourselves and at others! But how should we do it?

 

 1) Conversion. The scars of Jesus demand obedience: “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Hebrews 5.8-9) We identify ourselves with those scars in baptism. Paul asks, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” (Romans 6.3) In baptism, we join ourselves to the work of Christ at Calvary. We recreate by faith his death, burial and resurrection in our own lives.

 

 2) Communion. In the Lord’s Supper we consciously seek to recall the scars of Jesus and declare our solidarity with Him. This is what the Lord’s Supper is all about. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death…”(1 Corinthians 11.26) Partaking of the Lord’s Supper should fill us anew with a sense of wonder at what He has done for us. When the Lord’s Supper becomes mere mechanical repetition – Nothing more than a church house ceremony– It is a sure sign we have forgotten the scars.

 

 3) Consecration. Properly considered, the scars of Jesus should provide us with powerful incentives for living a Christ-like life. “For the love of Christ controls us, (compels us) having concluded this... That they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (2 Corinthians 5.14-15) What is wrong with our corrupt, defiled, degenerate world? People have forgotten the scars! There is no holiness because there is no remembrance.

 

 Remembering His scars goes much deeper than a mere recital of facts... As followers of a crucified Savior, we must expect to share in His scars! “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1.24)

 

No wound? No scar?

Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,

And pierced are the feet that follow me;

But Thine are whole:

Can they have followed far

Who have no wound or scar?

 

—BOBBY DOCKERY

    Fayetteville AR