Friday, April 22, 2011

By His Stripes

He was wounded for our transgressions;

he was bruised for our iniquities (our guilt and sin)

The punishment that brought us peace was upon him;

and by his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Two weeks ago in our Easter production, The Thorn, there was a scene where Jesus was being beaten. At one point he fell from the whipping post and the devil was taunting him…"haven’t you taken enough?.....just walk away." But Jesus got back up to take the full punishment, all 39 stripes. It brought tears to my eyes. I remembered this verse, by his stripes we are healed.

I was in Jr high when this verse first came alive to me. I was outside and I can’t remember exactly how it happened but I sprained my ankle. I went hopping on one foot to find my Mom, thinkin' we are going to have to go to the doctor, I won't be able to stand for our choir concert, this is awful! Now our family was new to this whole idea that the Bible is for today, and something came over my Mom! She grabbed my arm and said Lynn, we are going to pray, we are going to believe what God’s word says and you are going to be healed.

So right there in the driveway she started praying.

I’m in some serious pain. I’m crying…thinking my mom has lost it! But she prayed this verse, "Jesus you were wounded for us, you were bruised for us…you carried our diseases, you bore our pain….and by your stripes Lynn is healed today." There we were…praying and crying and limping around…in the front yard…I’m thinking My Mom is crazy….we should at least be in the back yard!

But it was amazing…the pain left…my ankle was never swollen and we couldn’t wait till my Dad came home from work so we could tell him what happened.

Jesus is our Healer! If you need physical healing… by His stripes you are healed. Maybe you need healing in your mind, or in your relationships…by His stripes you are healed!

Our God is a healer. He is faithful. He is still active on the earth …healing people Body, Mind and Soul. Today on Good Friday, we remember he was beaten for US and by His stripes our wounds are made whole.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Resurrection Life

We are in the middle of rehearsals for The Thorn and honestly, my family is exhausted. Our boys are acting in the production, my husband is assisting with technical needs and I’m the taxi driver, which as any mom knows can be quite taxing!

What an amazing retelling of the timeless story of our redemption. As I watched the practice, tears welled in my eyes and gratefulness flooded my heart. I remembered this truth:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now life in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

"Death and Resurrection" is no longer a theological concept that I simply choose to believe. It is very real to me. I lived in a tomb of my own making for several years. The pain of betrayal and the loneliness of the secret I kept shrouded my life in darkness. If you would have seen me then, you may have never known I was walking around mostly dead - going through the motions of life but feeling very little emotion. God met me in that place with the warmth of His love. He softened my cold heart and planted a seed of faith.

When I see Jesus emerging from the tomb, I see me. I’m alive, because God breathed His life into me. I’m still standing because He strengthened me. I see those grave clothes falling from His arms and I know I am no longer bound. I’ve been set free! I’m moving forward with hope for the future.

Sometimes I just have to stop and take a Long, Slow, Deep Breath. And then another. And then another. It feels so good to be ALIVE!

How has God breathed His resurrection life into your life?