Jesus Knows, Jesus Cares, Jesus Heals
When I was about ten years old, I was playing golf with my friend, Chris, in his back yard. It wasn't real golf, but ten-year-old golf using whatever we had available: a rusty 7-iron and a tennis ball.
It was a short-lived game. As Chris prepared for his first swing, I stood watching to see how this would work. He brought the club back and then laid into the ball with a swing of tremendous effort.
I didn't see where the tennis ball went. That was mostly because I was distracted by the smack of the golf club into my forehead, the stars spinning around my eyes, and the pain of realizing I was profusely bleeding.
Let's just say: it hurt and I was a mess.
Thankfully, everything turned out okay, except for the fact that I deeply dislike golf to this day (there must be a psychological connection)
I don't know for sure whether you've ever experienced deep pain in your life, but I'd venture to say that you have. Sure, there is the physical pain like I felt when the club hit my head. But it is often the deeper emotional or spiritual pain that hurts more.
Not too long ago, I was talking with some folks about how God can bring His healing to our shattered sexuality, whether that means childhood sexual abuse, rape, or something else. We started to turn our attention to Isaiah 53, which gives us an amazing picture of the reality that Jesus knows, cares, and heals our pain and brokenness.
Here are a few verses from this chapter that is so powerful:
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
- Isaiah 53:3-5
Through this prophetic passage about the Messiah, I've gained insight into how Jesus knows what our existence is like as humans in a broken world.
He knows what it feels like to be and feel unattractive (v 2). He knows what it feels like to be rejected (v 3), even by those closest to Him (think of Judas' betrayal or Peter's denial). He knows what it is like to suffer and endure great pain (v 5; reflect upon His suffering before and upon the Cross). He knows what it is like to endure unjust suffering in innocence (v 9). He knows what it is like to suffer in silence (v 7). He knows what it is like to be exposed naked to the world in brutal ways (John 19:23).
Jesus knows our pain.
The mere fact that Jesus came into our world, setting aside His glory in order to serve (Philippians 2), indicates the depth of His care. He chose to enter and endure our human world of joy and suffering so that He could bring life where there is death, hope where there is despair, and healing where there is brokenness.
Look at this simple verse in Isaiah 53: "by his wounds we are healed" (v 5). The crushing, the wounding, the shattering that Jesus endured was for our healing. It was for our spiritual healing, indeed, but as we are whole people, so Jesus wants to bring healing and redemption to our whole person.
Wherever you are at and whatever your circumstances, I hope that you know today that Jesus knows, Jesus cares, and Jesus heals you and me.
Matthew Erickson is the Associate Pastor at Brooklife Church in Mukwonago, WI. He served for five years as Collegiate Ministries Pastor at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI. Visit Matt at the Renovate blog (http://mwerickson.wordpress.com).
I am a husband to Kelly, father of three boys, a pastor, musician, avid hiker, disciple of Christ. Currently, I am employed as the Senior Pastor at Eastbrook Church in Milwaukee, WI. Before that I was the Associate Pastor at Brooklife Church in Mukwonago, WI, which I helped to plant a few years ago after serving for five years as the Collegiate Ministries Pastor at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI. I graduated with a Masters in Divinity from Northern Theological Seminary and a Bachelors in English and Christian Education from Wheaton College (IL).