Have you ever been shot? I have. It hurts. A lot.
I'm not going to discuss details; the where, when, why and how are not relevant to this devotional. But here's what IS relevant. I had to totally hide it. (Only my wife knew.) I covered it up, and continued to try and perform so I could meet day to day expectations. In other words, in the midst of constant pain I tried to appear "normal." (For those of you who know me, you know THAT was a hopeless cause!! I've NEVER been 'normal.')
Finally, after a few months, I came to the point where there was no more pain, just a scar and a memory. And so, life went on. It's kind of an interesting quality that scars have - they do not have the same capacity for normal feeling as the rest of the flesh that surrounds it.
There's a LOT more that can wound us besides a gun, and can cause MORE damage than a firearm can ever do. Divorce and other broken relationships. Death, especially sudden and unanticipated death; and the death of a child is exceptionally painful, whether anticipated or not. Abortion scars the mother in deep ways that continue for years. These are wounds that cut deeply, and the pain will impact others in your circle of relationships.
That's because, most of the time, hurt people hurt people. (In case that doesn't translate ell into the Portuguese and Spanish versions of this devotional, those four words are an interesting couplet in English that communicates that people who have experienced deep pain tend to perpetuate that pain into other relationships in painful ways.) While that is often very true in our personal relationships, there's a case that is very different.
Jesus CHOSE to be wounded. Today's verse tells us that IT IS BY HIS WOUNDS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN HEALED.
So we've considered wounds that cause us pain, and also wounds that continue that cycle of pain in others. But the concept of someone's wounds bringing our healing -- that's foreign to life, except in Christ. But it is also unique in another way. WE are the CAUSE of His wounds as well as the recipient of His healing.
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.
It is another example of the divine exchange. When we come to Christ, He forgives our sins. That alone would be so worthwhile. In fact, it would be exceptionally and incredibly valuable. As wonderful as THAT PART of the gift is, there is another that increases its value. HIS WOUNDS are the thing that HEAL OUR WOUNDS.
If you're experiencing pain deep within, Christ offers an answer. Actually, more than "an answer" - He offers THE ANSWER. Because what He offers to do within you will actually bring healing and wholeness.
BY HIS WOUNDS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN HEALED