God’s ApproachJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:02
How does God approach us in our sin? God’s approach may be quite different than we realize.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. (NIV)
There is no more lurid moment in history than what is found on Calvary when our Savior died. Our salvation was demonstrated through physical torture. Splattered blood, flesh hanging from the bone, and the pervasive oozing of blood over the whole surface of His skin is the graphic picture of what He took that we might be free from it.
This grotesque image of Jesus as the Lamb of God sheds light on God’s approach to our sin and salvation.
The prophet tells us Jesus was smitten by God, but the method was through the hands of others. Others struck Jesus, mocked Him, killed Him. Then the Spirit raised Him from the dead with every wound bound up and His body made whole. He was healed.
Too often, we view God’s approach to our sin and salvation as full of frustration as if we are broken in need of repair. The truth is that we don’t need repair. We need healing. We did not break from lack of maintenance. We have been mugged and left to die. What a contrast there is between being fixed and being healed.
Anyone who has attempted to fix something has experienced the frustration of trying to repair something broken. We kick the car when we have a flat on the highway. We grip and shake violently the toy because we can’t get the broken pieces back together. Often, we assume this is God’s frustration trying to repair all that is wrong in us. God is not full of frustration, but empathy and affection.
God approaches us as we approach the crucifixion. The suffering of our Lord pulls tears from our soul to see the innocent struck so violently. We are not frustrated with Him, but our heart goes out to Him. He has seen how the world has whipped us. He knows why His image in us has been splattered and smeared. When we see the bloodshed of the cross, we want to run to Him to stop the bleeding. When God sees our sin, He is moved full of compassion to stop the bleeding.
In your sin, God is not angry with you. He is not frustrated with you. He is not trying to force you back into shape. He is tenderly ministering to your wounds so that by His wounds, we are healed.
Lord, help me to reframe how I see you dealing with me to know there is no frustration with my dysfunction, but tender compassion for my wounds. Amen.