Monday, December 13, 2010

The Great Healer

The third week of the 2010 Advent season is upon us. This week we are focusing on how Jesus heals the sick, gives sight to the blind, causes the lame to walk, and restores mobility to the lame. There are countless stories in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of Jesus restoring the health of those that were close to Him, those that He passed by along the road and those brought to Him while He was teaching. The healing ministry of Jesus Christ was a significant part of His earthly ministry.

It was important for two reasons. First, death, decay and sickness are all a part of the curse that rests on humanity because of our rebellion against God. In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were escorted outside of God’s close presence because of their disobedience. But the Bible tells us that sin has even more effect on us that separation from God. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8 that all of creation is groaning to be free of this decay and deterioration. In addition, in that chapter Paul says the creation, which includes people, has been subjected to futility that leads to an ongoing cycle of decay in all of creation. Finally, in Romans 6 we learn that the wages of sin is death. When Jesus healed people He was showing His authority over sickness. Even more, He was showing that He has authority over sin and has ability to take away our sin.

The healing of Christ is also important because it shows His character. On more than one occasion we see Jesus very emotional when He was healing the sick or raising the dead. This matters because it shows us that Jesus cares about us. God loves the people of the world and desires to show sympathy to them. Through the healings Christ performed we learn about the love of God.

It was a combination of His power and His love that took Him to the cross. It was there Jesus died as a substitute for us. He took the consequence of our sin upon Himself at the cross as He suffered and died in our place. At the cross He accomplished more than just physical healing, He brought the healing needed to overcome the eternal consequence of sin.

Many people live as if cancer, heart disease or other illnesses are the end of the world. In one sense they can be as they may lead to death. And if this world is all you’re counting on then it will be the end of your world. But the Bible clearly teaches there is more than this life. In John 14 and 1 Corinthians 15 we clearly read that there will be a resurrection of the followers of Christ to be with Christ forever. The resurrection will be ultimate and eternal healing that we all long to receive.

As Christmas approaches, worship the Savior born in a manger that came to heal the sick. He heals the body and the soul.

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