New International Version (NIV)
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Did Christ really rise from the dead as the women had reported? Did He appear to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus? Did He really just appear out of no where in the locked room they were meeting in?
I imagine all of that was very hard to take in. I bet they had to take a seat and breathe due to shock, excitement, fear, and pure joy! The most amazing thing of all is that Christ did not appear as a “spirit” or a vision. He came to them fully God and fully man. He ate real food, walked on hard floors, and at the end of the chapter He literally ascended into heaven before their very eyes.
Christ is not a ghost. He is not a fictional character from a storybook. He is flesh and bone. He is God and man. The scars from His torture were not healed or taken away. They remain as a testimony to what He did. They will remain because He stands in our place and takes on our sin so that we are no longer covered in red. He takes on our sin so that we can be clothed in white. He takes on our sin so that we have the ability to be in His presence. It is because He takes on our sin that we gather, remember, pray, sing, rejoice, and recall what is taught in scripture.
It is because He takes on our sin that we are free to worship.