Jesus’ Wounds Heal Ours
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the punishment for our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5
As the sun rose over Jerusalem, remnants of palm branches remained on the streets. A girl no more than five picked a branch up out of the dirt and waved it in the air just like she had seen her older siblings do the day before. A fresh squeal of “Hosanna” filled the morning air.
Just down the road, others were sleeping. Family members had stayed until the wee hours of the morning to hear how Jesus had healed and see the miracle for themselves. And in the Temple courts, merchants still seethed from cleaning up the mess after Jesus overturned their tables. As the chief priests conspired for a way they might be able to assassinate Jesus, He traveled to a nearby town to rest for the night.
So began Monday of Passion week, the span of time between Sunday of Jesus’ triumphant entry and His triumphant resurrection from the dead. I remember as a little girl wearing a frilly pink dress on Palm Sunday, coming down the church center aisle with all the other children, waving palm branches. I was so excited to come into “big church” and yell “Hosanna!”, even though I had very little idea of what it all meant.
I never could’ve imagined as that little girl that I would one day walk the very streets of Jerusalem where Jesus rode in on a donkey 2000 years ago. I sat in the Garden of Gethsemane, the olive grove where Jesus knelt to pray the night He was betrayed and arrested. I stood in the church built on the place people believe Jesus was crucified and buried. I took Communion at the Garden Tomb.
I could’ve never known as that little girl that I would trade in that frilly pink dress quite a few times along the way for a stiff, cotton hospital gown. And I didn’t know that today, I would bear the scars of surgeries that saved my life. My biggest scar runs the length of my torso – it’s over seven inches long. I used to hate them and hate looking at them; after all, they’re ugly and, for a while, were painful reminders of very difficult seasons in my life. But now I don’t view them that way. I see them reminders of God’s intervention to save my life. A scar is only there because a wound has healed.
We won’t get through life without scars. They tell us where a wound has left its mark. Some of you have physical scars: the bike that got the best of you in childhood, the gouges from a heart bypass, or the changing landscape from your fight with cancer.
And most of us have emotional scars: the grief that never quite goes away, the wrongs that can never be righted, or the betrayals that cut us to the core. If those wounds aren’t treated, they become infected, causing us to become bitter and stuck in painful places. However, if we allow Jesus into every wounded place, we can live with the scars that remind us not of our pain, but of His presence.
There are so many remarkable moments of Passion Week: Jesus’ triumphant entry, His fabricated trial, His betrayal by His friends, His brutal crucifixion, and His glorious resurrection. But perhaps one of the moments I’m most humbled by is Jesus appearing to His disciples in His resurrected body – bearing scars. Jesus not only reveals His love to us through His scars. He reveals His power to us through our wounds. He knows our wounds and loves us still.
This isn’t the last time in the Bible we see Jesus with His wounds. John sees it all in his vision called Revelation. “‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’” Rev. 5:12
I find it infinitely comforting that the wounded one is the object of heaven’s praise. There, before the great white throne in glory, stands our wounded Lord. Even in the glory of God’s presence, the wounds are visible. In fact, it’s His wounds that elicit the thunderous praise of the heavenly hosts, because it represents the finished work on the cross. In Jesus’ wounds, our wounds are never far from the heart of God. Let’s invite Him into our wounded places this week and let His wounds heal ours.
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