“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,
           and put my finger in the mark of the nails
           and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
                           —John 20.25

I killed him, you see.
At the crucial moment I failed him. I ran away.
When they shouted for his death, did I defend him?
In my silence, in my vanishing into decency and decorum
it was I who hammered those nails into his hands.
It was I who died that day.
Peter, the drama major, had a scene.
Judas, always the extremist, got all the attention.
But did I feel better than they? No.
                                                              That death was mine.
So when you say he’s alive, don’t just give me a happy ending:
“Oh, it was nothing. I’m fine. And you?” No.
It’s not that I doubt he’s alive.
I just want to make sure he’s the one who was dead.
A nice recovery would please me, but not save me.
The one you say is risen,
did he rise from a real grave, or just an imagined one?
Did he overcome my sin, or just your disappointment?
I want to see the holes of the nails I put there.
I want to know that the one who’s living is the one I killed,
that my evil has been undone,
that my guilt has been forgiven.
If I touch his wounds maybe he will touch mine.
And in that touch, heal.
If the crucified one, not some eternally unhurt one,
but the wounded and dead and buried one is truly alive
then so am I, and I will kneel at the feet
of my Superior, my Savior, my God.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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