The Marks on the Resurrected Body of Christ

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.... Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:19-27)

Obviously, Jesus' body had the marks; for, if they were not there, then the other disciples would have told Thomas that the body they saw had no marks of the wounds. But, why did Jesus rise up in a body with marks?

I understand that some of the beloved saints have maintained that the martyrs will still carry the marks of their persecution in their resurrected bodies. With utmost respect and love for these beloved ones, however, I find this not very plausible. For instance, what about those whose bodies were mutilated and who were torn apart by lions? Obviously, the resurrection of saints will be in a body that is healed of all wounds. Also, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; therefore, the glorious transformation of the living saints and the glorious resurrection of those who slept in Christ is necessary. This body has to be saved. But, that was not the case certainly with Jesus. His body was holy.

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Lk.1:35)
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me" (Heb.10:5)

It is impossible to say of Jesus that mortality reigned over Him, for He was sinless and free of the effects of sin. One could not say of Him, "just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." (Rom.5:12). Jesus never sinned. Jesus died for sins of the world not because of His sin, for He is sinless. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet without sin; thus, He could be tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.

On the other hand, Adam was only a type of Christ, the Second Man, from heaven.
"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." (Rom.5:14, NKJ)

So, while sin came by Adam, through Christ came righteousness.
"Therefore, as through one man's offense [judgment] came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act [the free gift came] to all men, resulting in justification of life." (Rom.5:18, NKJ)
This couldn't be if Christ was an effect in the chain of sin.

Jesus could never have cried like Paul:
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells" (Rom.7:18) And,
"O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom.7:24)

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He came to give life, and life more abundantly. He couldn't say all that if He was in the line of effects of Adam's sin. For, even before Abraham or before Adam, Christ IS. Therefore, the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is so significant.

Also, there is certainly a reason for the prophetic pronouncement that not one of His bones would be broken (Ps.34:20) and the fulfillment thereof (Jn.19:33-36).

His transfiguration on the Mount gave a glimpse of who He was, the Glory of God tabernacled in flesh and blood. It is wrong to think that Christ became something greater in His resurrection. His greatness is always in the infinite superlative, without any comparison whatsoever. However, in the Incarnation, we are told that He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant (Phil.2:7). He was made a little lower than the angels.

The physical wound marks on His body, apparently, only signify His distinction as the One from Above, the Last Adam, the Second Man.

Certainly, it is not impossible for God the Creator to rise up with a body without wound marks. Also, after His resurrection He appears to His disciples no longer in the same way as before the resurrection. In addition, it was not always easy for them to recognize Him always. In His High Priestly prayer, He prayed the Father to grant Him the glory which He had with Him before the foundation of the world. John testified that in Christ they beheld the glory of the only begotten of God.

Last updated on June 7, 2016


  1. In my view, the marks of wounds on the body of Lord Jesus Christ is unique. The marks are proof of His crucifixion and Resurrection. He is Living and will go on living. He is supposed to show the marks in each generation as a proof of His crucifixion because there are and will be many a doubting Thomas. If Christ would not have risen without marks, it would have been a tough time for Him to prove that He was resurrected and is living now.
    All the others who were martyred from the time of Stephen till now need no marks on their bodies because they are not going to testify or prove that they were killed for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. So I feel that the decision to keep the marks of His wounds is predestined.


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