GOD CAME NEAR- Jesus’ Healing
(To go along with this advent devotional, we’ve also made a Spotify playlist! Check it out here.)
When’s the last time you fell and scraped your knee? As kids, it seems like we were constantly getting hurt. Bumps and bruises were a common occurrence, yet we were never okay with being hurt. We wanted to feel better. We wanted the pain to go away. We wanted things to be made right again, right away! That desire doesn’t go away as we get older. When we hurt, we long for healing.
In God’s kindness, He saw our hurt, He bent down, and He came near to us. On that silent, holy night that Jesus was born, God came near, and Jesus began to pave the way for something we all long for– healing. See, the birth of Jesus was not the end of the story. Jesus would grow up just like we do, yet he would live a perfectly sinless life, and then die an excruciating and humiliating sacrificial death on a cross! In His death an unexpected exchange took place.
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.
– Isaiah 53:5
-His broken body in exchange for the restoration of ours.
-His sinless life in exchange for our imperfection.
-His last breath is what gives us ours.
-His death is what ushers us into life.
-His wounds are what heals ours!
This is the miraculous exchange that happened when Jesus arrived on the scene over 2,000 years ago. Healing, however, is never overnight. The people of God waited for thousands of years for the promised Messiah to come, yet even in the waiting– God was working! Healing requires waiting. Waiting may not be what we want, but waiting on God leads us into the very presence of the God who heals. To walk with Jesus is to experience an entire lifetime of healing. Healing also requires exchange. It requires that we open our grip on our wounds, our hurts, our scars, and our stories to the God who knows. He simply asks us to open our hands.
The exchange that happens when you release your grip is brokenness for healing, unworthiness for identity, chaos for unexplainable peace, and death for life.
In waiting we open our hearts to being stretched and seen and known. Where pressure is high, and anxious thoughts run deep, waiting can feel overwhelming. But in the birth of Jesus we are reminded– that is where God meets us. Divinity meets humanity in the waiting! Right here, right now, in the messy middle. When we wait on God, we soon realize that He was already sitting with us in the waiting and in the healing. That’s the beauty of Immanuel, God with us.
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). – Matthew 1:22-23
Reflect & Respond:
Acknowledge: Where are places that you find yourself needing healing? Write down those places of hurt that you are still holding on to. What is keeping you from releasing those things?
Posture: The posture of release is the first step to making an exchange. You must first release your hands, and posture yourself to openly surrender what you are holding onto. Take a moment and physically open your hands, palms up, and imagine actually releasing the places that you’re holding onto. Now imagine receiving freedom and healing that comes from Jesus in exchange!
Prayer: “Jesus, I open my hands to offer you my brokenness in exchange for your healing. I trust that when I avail myself to you, that you are gentle and patient in my healing. That you will never forsake me in it. Thank you for your birth in the stable and your exchange on the cross! Amen.”
(If you didn’t check it out before, check out this week’s advent playlist here.)