One of the top songs of 1984 was Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” The chorus states, “In my life there’s been heartache and pain. I don’t know if I can face it again.” The lyrics then say that as much pain and heartache we have experienced, we still seek out love and relationships.
The Bible consistently supports what Foreigner sang about. Jesus specifically stated that in this world we will have trials; we will have heartache and pain. Many people assume the Bible is full of perfect people with perfect families. If you read the first book in the Bible, Genesis, you will quickly see there are a lot of messy people and dysfunctional families in the Bible. The Bible does not gloss over the mistakes, sin, scars and dysfunction of its central characters and families.
So, as a pastor, I am not going to skip over this fact either. Instead, let’s talk about it. We all ask the question, why the wounds, the hurt, the pain? It is not a simple question to be answered in a paragraph, but part of the answer is we have a God-given freedom to choose and with that freedom comes sinful choices that hurt ourselves and hurt others. Sin sucks and sin splatters; there is a consequence to disobedience to God and not only do those who are directly involved pay a price, but those who had nothing to do with the decision also get hurt. We live in a broken world where Satan is a thief who comes to steal kill, and destroy (our health, our family, our relationships).
And our human bodies are imperfect; we face afflictions and sickness. Medicine has made incredible advances but there are new viruses and chemicals that nestle in our bodies, diseases that are constantly changing and medical situations we don’t have answers for. The sin of the first humans affected God’s creation; sin brings separation between us and God, other people and God’s creation. The presence of pain and heartache is the reality we are faced with.
After Jesus’s miraculous birth, sinless life, horrific death and life-giving resurrection, he appeared to many people, including his disciples. John 20:19-20 describes it: “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord."
Notice the first two things Jesus did; he said “Peace be with you” and he showed them his scars. Could it be that through the scars of Jesus we can find true peace; peace, even amidst chaos, pain, loss, depression and addiction? I believe Jesus wants to meet us and walk with us during our seasons and points of our deepest scars. I have experienced this personally and in the lives of others.
I recently heard this line at a concert: I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody all about somebody who saved my soul. I guess that is where I am at. Jesus was permanently scarred so we could be forever healed.
God bless you. See you next Sunday!