Thursday, December 11, 2014

Solus Christus: The God Who Heals

The God who personally became man for us—the prophet, priest, king, judge, shepherd, and suffering servant—is also the God who heals the weak and the hurting. For today’s Advent devotion we again look to a prophecy about the Messiah in the book of Isaiah:
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged
    till he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his law. (Is. 42:1-4)
Matthew tells us in Mt. 12:15-21 that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy too. Jesus came to earth and suffered, so that He could identify with us in our suffering and heal our suffering (cf. He. 2:10-18). Have you ever confessed a sin to another Christian, admitted a doubt to another believer, or expressed the pain of your heart to another child of God, only to have them condemn you for that sin, doubt, or pain? That’s called breaking a “bruised reed.” The Church is made up of a bunch of imperfect, sinful, and at-times-judgmental people, which means all of us will at one time or another break a “bruised reed” or quench a “faintly burning wick.” But, we never have to worry about that from our Savior. He will “faithfully bring forth justice” without breaking the bruised reeds like you and me. In fact, He will heal the bruised reeds by forgiving our sins, casting our doubts, and comforting us in our pain.

This doesn’t mean all our diseases will be healed; this doesn’t mean we won’t experience heartache in this world. It doesn’t mean we won’t at times suffer the consequences of our sins in this world or be scolded for our doubt (cf. Mt. 14:31). It does mean that when we’re bruised, He won’t make it worse but He’ll care for us until we’re healed. When we’re barely burning, He won’t quench us but He’ll love for us until we’re burning with His love again. This is why Jesus says to believers, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And, soon He will return to take us into the new heavens and new earth where there will be no pain, no crying, no sin, and no death (Re. 21:1-4). That’s what the suffering servant secured for His people by becoming man. That’s why we can celebrate Christmas.

Today let Advent remind you that Jesus is gentle with His people. Let God’s promises about His Messiah remind you that you can go to Him with your doubts, sins, and pains and never worry about being rejected, despised, or crushed because He was rejected, despised, and crushed for you (cf. Is. 53:1-12). Unfortunately, because we’re all still sinful people, we can’t say that for certain about anyone in this world. We can’t say beyond the shadow of a doubt that another human won’t reject us, but we can say with absolute certainty that Jesus won’t reject any who come to Him in faith. Remember that you can always go to Him and He’ll always love you. I know this to be true because He became like you and died for you.

By His Grace,

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