By His Wounds 2
God often works the opposite of our best thinking. The whole plan of redemption is not how we would have done it. And this phrase from the prophet Isaiah has always intrigued me: “By his wounds (stripes, scourging) we are healed.” (Is. 53:5)
The first time I remember hearing that, my logical mind said that doesn’t make sense. How can someone else’s wounds bring healing to me? I struggled to understand that for a long time. It seemed to me that a person who was strong and well would be best equipped to help another. How can a sick doctor bring healing to his patient?
But, of course, I was trying to understand spiritual truth by viewing it from the natural. Even in many seminaries they are teaching that we should lead from our strengths, i.e. discern our spiritual gifts and concentrate on our stronger gifts. Those with dominate personalities often overwhelm others and impose their ideas and methods on others to achieve certain visible results. Had Jesus followed this method, he would have pleased his disciples. They wanted Jesus to be their “hero”. They were bewildered when He didn’t call 10,000 angels to protect Him from cruelty and death. From our vantage point we can see how the death of Christ was necessary for our salvation. Then we promptly reject it and return to the ways of the world in the leadership of our world.
Peter had a difficult time understanding this truth until he failed miserably enough to deny Christ 3 times. All of the tribulations recorded in the book of Acts served to enhance Peter’s spiritual education. He concludes that Jesus’ suffering was “an example for you to follow in His steps.” (1 Pet. 2:21) He tells them that they “were continually straying like sheep” (v. 25) until they allowed healing them “by His wounds.”
So how does this apply in our world? Grace is the only thing that transforms us. The means by which grace flows is humility. And grace flows into my life through my wounds, i.e. things which humble me. Jesus, dying “as if” He were a thief, could say to a real thief, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Jesus, through His wounds, became the Savior of the world. We spend far too much energy trying to deny our wounds, or making sure others don’t see them. Our wounds cause us to bleed grace, and hurting people are able to receive it and be healed. Paul, an often and deeply wounded man, discovered that in his weakness, God’s power was perfected. (2 Cor. 12:9) Our success produces no grace. It might produce followers, but the Kingdom grows by life transformation.
Have you been wounded by circumstances or people? The depth to which you accept grace (James 4:6) in the difficult times will determine your impact in ministry to others.
Become a wounded healer!