By Gloria Wessner
Personal wounds………..we all get them —-sometimes physical in nature; a chronic, debilitating disease or condition left from an accident; emotional – a spouse or partner has walked out on you; perhaps leaving you as a single parent with no support; a close friend won’t have anything to do with you anymore; mentally – a disorder or crippling brain injury that is very difficult to cope with on a daily basis; spiritually – I cannot find my way, wonder who I am and where do I fit in this universe; does God even exist or even care about me if he does?
Suffering, we struggle from day to day. Routines might keep us going, but inside we are devastated, numb and void of feeling. We find some ways to somewhat help us get by; not always in healthy ways, but we learn to make do and carry on with our life in this way, sometimes for many years. Some may even take their own life because they find they just can’t deal with life and their suffering, as my best friend did. These ways can help cover over the pain; but they give us no reason for our wounds existence let alone receive some kind of healing so that life is meaningful.
Believe it or not, Jesus knows all about that, and more than that, can give meaning, and in turn, help heal those wounds, with his own wounds he suffered.
“He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
It says in God’s word that “This High Priest (meaning Jesus) of ours understands our weaknesses (character flaws, lack of strength or determination), for he faced all of the same testing (difficulties) we do, yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15. This gives him credibility to know exactly what I’m going through. In such a short forum we can’t explore everything he faced, but we can briefly look at some examples of why he can identify with us so well, and so provide healing through his life and experience.
Jesus knew what it was like to suffer spiritually and physically. ”…where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.” (Luke 4:2) To be tempted is to stimulate desires in someone to do something wrong. The devil knows just how to tempt – and you can bet he harassed Jesus relentlessly for 40 days straight when he was so hungry for so long. Jesus also suffered untold torture physically at the hands of cruel Roman soldiers with all the beatings, crown of thorns on his head, hanging from a cross for hours with nails in his hands and feet as punishment for a crime he never committed. (See John 19).
From John 18 and 19 we can see where Jesus also suffered mentally and emotionally. He was wrongfully accused; “Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus, so they could put him to death. But they couldn’t find any. Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other. Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony…” (Mark 14:55-57). His closest friends (disciples) abandoned him in his greatest hour of need. “Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away.” (Mark 14:50.) One of those closest friends (Judas) was the one who betrayed him to the authorities in the first place. “And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. The traitor, Judas . . . came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.” (Mark 18: 47-49) And, the soldiers looking after him for the crucifixion made fun of him. “Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. “Prophesy to us,” they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.” (Mark 14:65). During the crucifixion he was mocked and insulted in front of the jeering mob and soldiers.
When we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (we agree with God and tell him that we have wrongdoings in our lives, and we ask him to forgive us because the death and coming to life again of Jesus Christ defeated wrongdoings and death, and then we choose to live for God and not ourselves, with his help); we have access and the right to use all of the resources that God gives to help and try to understand the wounds and begin to receive some healing for them. You may want to have that personal relationship with God so that you can know him and live life to the fullest, with some healing of both past and present wounds as well as future difficulties/wounds that will come up. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16.) Not every facet of our wounds of whatever nature they are will magically disappear, much like a physical injury may leave a scar and some lasting results because of it; the difference is that because I belong to Christ, I have access to His strength to live within those results I`m left with, and I can leave the `why`s` of my condition(s) with Him, because I can trust the One under whose care I have placed myself into. The grace needed to cope with my condition is there and this gives me the opportunity to find joy within my situation. This is not just through a positive attitude, but a real and daily relationship where I have strength for that day, or sometimes that hour as he himself becomes my strength.
”There was nothing attractive about him (Jesus),
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins (wrongdoings) that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him…” (Isaiah 53:3-6 The Message)
If you would like to discuss any part of this article or its thoughts, I would encourage you to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I will get back to you.