And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
As we make some noise today about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and celebrate His resounding victory over sin, the curse and all its effects, do you know what the greatest reward of all is?
It’s not the healing, or the provision, or any of the benefits that we gained in Christ, momentous and glorious though those are; it is the miracle of friendship with God.
When Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden, they walked with Him as a friend. They looked across and there He was. But when sin came, they lost that. From that point onward, men have feared God, and the whole dysfunctional relationship culminated in the horrific wounds that were inflicted on Jesus at the hands of those who should have been His friends.
Talk about relationship breakdown! How many people, after something like that, would call the aggressor their friend?
Yet that is exactly the perspective that Jesus has adopted! His response to His persecutors, and indeed to all of mankind whose sin He carried is this, “I am not bitter that I was beaten and despised and mocked and rejected. I am not bitter that I carried your sin and that my body was contorted with the weight of your iniquity. I am not bitter or angry. You are my friends!”
Can you take that in this morning? That is the God who has risen from the dead and conquered every enemy of love. Mercy has triumphed over judgment and miraculously, forgiveness has prevailed.
Jesus agreed to go to the cross so that we could be reunited in love with the Father, and so that we could inherit God Himself. For all eternity, the man who was previously free to be everywhere at the same time, is now confined to a physical body with holes in his hands. He did it all simply because He wanted to go and rescue His friends.
Our Jesus is something else! Let’s celebrate Him in style today!
Heavenly Father, THANK YOU!!! It is so good to be your friend today. It is so good to know that you are not mad with me. You are not bitter towards me and you are not ignoring me. You sent Jesus to come and get me from all of life’s darkness and pain and I get to be your friend for all eternity!
Thank you for forgiving me of every wrong, and redeeming me from every effect of sin in my life. Thank you for your life poured out and for resurrection power released into my life today. I believe that you fill me with that same love today so that I can bring healing to every broken person and every broken situation that I touch in your name. Thank you, Lord!