He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 Peter 2: 24

 

Jesus carried a great weight on His back and in His spirit when He was placed upon that cross of torture and death. When I consider the event itself, I am hit squarely in the face with the extraordinary harshness and brutality of what happened, but the human and physical aspects of that day are light and minor in comparison with the spiritual and emotional aspects of what transpired. In that moment, Jesus took with Him all of my sin, my disobedience to God, and all of the sin of every person who would ever walk upon this earth. Every simple unloving act, angry thought, deceit, violent action and contemplation, and all of the rest of the harsh and troubling history of existence that is outside of God’s perfect will and way was heaped upon Him and was there to torture Jesus in those final hours of life on this earth.

 

What is even more remarkable to me is that Christ did all of this knowing how brutally painful the specific act of sacrifice would be and also with knowledge of just how unworthy each of us, myself certainly included, would be. I do not deserve to receive the sacrificial love that Jesus pours out over me, but He loves me still. I have done nothing to earn my place at God’s table of grace; yet, Christ has granted me a seat there. My life has been lived out in a manner that is far short of God’s standard of righteousness, and still, Christ calls me into service to His name and in His Kingdom. None of this makes sense when it is considered in light of worldly and human standards of earned privilege and responsibility that is granted based upon merit. However, God does not desire to make sense in human terms or to operate by worldly standards. His view of life and of human worth come from outside of all that we know and experience here, and His concept of grace and of forgiveness transcend this world’s standards of worthiness as they overcome their limitations.

 

In this world, we are held back and constrained by our status in many ways, and worth is often granted based upon external factors and conditions. To God we are all extraordinarily beautiful and our worth is measured in terms of Christ’s presence within us, for in Christ, we are healed from all of the brokenness and the loss that sin has brought to dwell within our hearts, minds, and bodies. This is a form of healing that takes place on the inside of our beings and that influences and effects all that we are. Christ’s beautiful and blameless blood, which was poured out as the essential sacrifice for my sins and for yours, is the agent of healing for our souls. So, as we surrender to Christ, we are made spiritually alive, granted a home in God’s eternal kingdom, and given place and purpose in Christ’s here and now kingdom come on earth. Christ takes the weight of sin from us, and He sets us free to serve Him by loving the world as God does, for the eternal righteousness that we now possess is founded on love and is carried out in acts of grace, mercy, and justice.

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He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 Peter 2: 24

 

God’s Word contains many accounts of the way that Jesus healed people who were sick, diseased, deeply troubled, and suffering from various forms of bodily dysfunction. He even brought the dead back to life. The Old Testament has its own accounts of how God brings about health and restoration of people, and the Apostles engaged in various forms of healings, too. There is no doubt in my mind that God cares about our physical and emotional well-being and that He does work to heal our bodies. Yet, here in this letter, Peter is talking about the far greater form of healing that comes to us by and through Christ, and this is God’s promise of healing that brought me the greatest comfort during my recent time of illness and recovery.

 

Let me say that by nature I am not a person who turns over control readily. I am a manager, planner, and director of events. I am also rather uncomfortable with medical procedures and a person who does not seek medical care unless that is apparently necessary. In other words, unless that care is urgently needed. Yet, in that period of time where I was giving up my control by surrendering my own clothing, signing consent to treat forms, and allowing the administration of pain numbing medication; I did find myself in a state of complete peace and deep-seated rest. My soul was calm, and my mind and heart were satisfied.

 

Given my nature, the best that I can do to attempt to make sense of my state of peace is to consider that the message that the Spirit placed on my mind at that time was the one contained in the promise of this verse. I had already been healed. The sickness and the brokenness of my body in this world is nothing more than a momentary disruption in my life. Yes, it did hurt and the situation was dangerous, but none of that has anything to do with the state or the status of my soul. The life that I have is a gift of God that has been given out of the gracious love that He pours out on me. He owns my breath, and I absolutely trust the Savior of my soul with the working out of His righteous will in and upon my body.