It’s not uncommon for the issues of my heart to overflow out of my mouth and cause someone I love a regrettable amount of pain.
I can’t tell you how much I want to suck those moments right back up. Undo actions. Unsay words. Erase all traces of wounds that I’m afraid all too often leave scars.
Of course, none of that is possible.
I can apologize. I can repent. But I can’t fully wipe away from my mind or theirs the hurtful things that have transpired.
And as I have about thought how I need to let the emotional scars I have already left not shame me but definitely compel me not to leave even more, I can’t help but also think about the physical scars my sins have left on Jesus.
Scars that Scripture says were visible on His resurrected body. (John 20:27) Scars that will still be visible when I bow before Him in heaven one day. Scars that I want to start picturing as I live out Hebrew 4:15-16, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Because I think it’s important for us to know we would see them. If we walked up to His throne of grace right this second asking Jesus to help us in the face of our weaknesses and our temptations, the hands that would reach out to comfort us would still bear the marks of the death He died for us.
And as I seek to live a life that wounds others less, I realize Jesus’ scars can speak five very specific things to my heart if I will let them:
1) His scars remind me I am deeply and fiercely loved.
I am loved with a love that held Jesus to the cross where He willingly and fully paid for my sins. (Romans 5:8) A love that can help me live differently and love sacrificially.
2) His scars remind me victory over sin is possible.
Jesus has already won the victory over both sin and death. I don’t have to live as a slave to sin anymore. Seeing those scars can remind me I have the power in the face of temptation to say, “That’s not who you are anymore, Kimberly! Christ gained the victory for you. You’ve been made new and set free. You’ve died to this sin! You can turn around. Right. This. Second.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Romans 6)
3) His scars remind me obedience is a must if I want to live a life that’s victorious.
Jesus’ flesh was crucified for my victory, but I must also continue to crucify my flesh daily, even hourly. Just as Jesus obeyed the Father all the way to the cross, I must deny myself and choose obedience over gratifying sinful and selfish desires. (Matthew 16:24) Will obedience be hard in the moment? Probably. Will it be worth it in the end? Yes. Absolutely.
4) His scars remind me I can be healed.
(And the one I need the most right now…)
5) His scars remind me sin has a price.
My sin cost Jesus His life. Truth that isn’t meant to shame me, but I do need to let it humble and change me. And since Jesus has already paid for my sin, why would I want to make anyone else pay? Because that is exactly what will happen every time I choose to give in to temptation. My sin will cost me. My sin will cost the ones I sin against. My sin will cost those who come in contact with me. I’ve already left scars on Jesus… on myself… on others… I need to stop and ask myself, “Do I really want to leave more?”
Things I share NOT to stir up guilt over what we have done in the past but to remind us we have a very real and present hope in the here and now. His scars can speak a better word over us if we will let them. His scars can help us live differently. Obediently. Victoriously. Kindly. Compassionately. Humbly. Lovingly. If only we’ll pause, turn to Jesus in prayer, ask Him for His help, and then move in obedience.
Oh, Jesus… let it be so in me.