Mar23WedMarch 23, 2016
We thought that we had escaped it. Sadly, not this season. The head cold has begun to rummage through our household. The past two nights, one of our twin boys has had difficulty sleeping through the night due to sinus pressure and congestion. The challenge is that there is so little that we can do to help him. We can sooth him with medicine or juice or rock him in our arms to help him relax. But apart from the Lord healing him instantly, which has not happened this time, we simply have to endure the sickness with him until his full health returns. The other remedies are merely temporary fixes.
I imagine that most of us can relate to enduring through sickness. Certainly, some within our church family have endured much more than a head cold! Some have battled cancer and other long-term illnesses for years. Our human frustration is that we have very few immediate solutions when faced with our most difficult diseases. At best, we endure and learn to cope.
However, there is one human condition in which we ought to never simply endure – our shame. Whether it’s speeding or lying, greed or lust (just to name a few), each one of us breaks the laws of men and the laws of God and subsequently experiences the powerful spiritual reaction of shame.
Unfortunately, too many people decide to cope with shame rather than find a permanent solution. People cope by either pretending that it’s not there or by surrounding themselves with others who will celebrate their illness. Yet, there is a remedy!
Over 300 years before Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the prophet Isaiah spoke of a servant King who would bear the shame and iniquities of people and establish righteousness and peace (read Isaiah 52:13-54:12). This servant King came in the person of Jesus! Everyone who confesses their sin and shame, calling upon Jesus for forgiveness, is really healed from this infirmity (1 John 1:9) immediately and completely!
If this is old news to you, I encourage you to revisit Isaiah 52-53 this week to catch a glimpse into the Sovereign plan of God from hundreds of years before Jesus. Those chapters never cease to amaze me!
If this is kind of remedy is not familiar to you, then I encourage you to read the last chapters in the Gospel of Matthew with us as a congregation this week with our daily readings. This account will take you back to the historical moment when the remedy for sin and shame occurred. This same moment is spiritually accessible to you when you believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for your sin.
Holy Week is much more than just an event within the life of the ‘communion of saints’ around the world. It’s a week in which repentant sinners declare, “There is a remedy!” and echo the words to the old hymn, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”