Why did Jesus show His wounds to the disciples after His resurrection? I reply at once that they were infallible proofs that He was the same Person. He said, “Behold My hands and feet, that it is, I, Myself.”
It was to establish His identity, that He was the very same Jesus whom they had followed, whom at last they had deserted, whom they had beheld afar off crucified and slain and whom they had carried to the tomb in the gloom of the evening. It was the very same Christ who was now before them and they might know it—for there was the seal of His sufferings upon Him. He was the same Person. The hands and feet could testify to that.
Had not some such evidence been visible upon our Savior, it is probable that His disciples would have been unbelieving enough to doubt the identity of His Person. Have you ever seen men changed, extremely changed in their external appearance? I have known a man, perhaps, five or six years ago. He has passed through a world of suffering and pain and when I have seen him again, I have declared, “I should not have known you if I had met you in the street.”
The disciples looked upon the very face, but, even then they doubted. There was a majesty about Him which most of them had not seen. Peter, James, and John had seen Him transfigured, when His garments were whiter than anyone could make them. But the rest of the disciples had only seen Him as a Man of Sorrows. They had not seen Him as the glorious Lord and, therefore, they would be apt to doubt whether He was the same. But these nail-prints, this pierced side—these were marks which they could not dispute—which unbelief itself could not doubt. And they all were convinced and confessed that He was the Lord. And even faithless Thomas, was constrained to cry, “My Lord and my God!”
Adapted from Spurgeon's Sermons, The Wounds of Jesus (No. 254), by Charles Spurgeon.