24 June 2015

by His wounds are we healed...

 -Matt, Tea in Solitude
Until Jesus returns, there will always be evil and hatred in the world. This is the human condition. People will always have bitterness and hatred in their hearts as long as the world separates itself from the healing love of God. The absence of love and forgiveness cultivates the conditions for the toxic powers of guilt and shame that overshadow the existence of the individual and community. This means that the worst response to acts of hatred is more hatred; this leads to annihilation. 

Thanks be to Jesus Christ, he has provided a way out of the cycle of the annihilating power of hatred through the cross. Jesus himself once suffered injustice and hatred in the moments of his passion and death, and it was through his obedience and loving response to injustice that the dark and hating world found forgiveness and healing.

The suffering and death of Jesus was the most unjust moment in all of human history because, as Peter says (quoting from Isaiah), “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Pet 2:22). He was perfectly innocent! This tells me that if the Innocent One suffered injustice then those of us who are far from innocent and perfect can expect the same as long as there is hatred in the world.

More important than this, however, is that Jesus’ example reveals that it is in the greatest moment of injustice that God redeems the worldIt is in the darkest hours of human life that God is at his best in his redemptive work. God is at his best in the Red Sea moments of life; the moments when it seems as if there’s no way out of our problems and troublesthe moments that seem to highlight that there is no hope.

Hatred, terrorism, prejudice, injustice, suffering, pain, violence, and great confusion mark these days. Thanks be to God, in the example of Jesus, we see that it is in moments like these that God reaches into our darkness and redeems! These are dark times, but also the times of his greatest healing work!

How do we respond to these sorts of acts in times like these? In order for God’s healing hand to be at work in our midst, we must respond like Jesus. There is no other way. Consider the rest of Peter’s words from the same passage that describe how Jesus responded in his dark hour of injustice:

When he [Jesus] was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 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 Pet 2:22–24).

Let us be a source of healing in a dark world by responding to unjust acts of hatred by not reviling in return, not threatening, but entrusting ourselves to God who judges justly. When we do this in our own sufferings, it is by our wounds that God can heal the world; just like he did with Jesus.

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