Every Scar Has a Story
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I was really moved by Lincoln's story. He's a respected African-American pastor that I had the privilege to get to know recently. He told me a little of his personal history. His father was a sharecropper, his grandfather was a slave. At the age of 11, Lincoln's grandfather had been taken from his mother and sold on the auction block, never to see his mother again. Amazingly, his grandfather conveyed no bitterness, no anger as he told his grandson about his childhood as a slave. But he did show his grandson his scars; the ones inflicted on him by his slave master. And my friend has never forgotten what Grandpa said about those scars, "Every scar has a story." I'm sure it did.
When God's Son left heaven and came here to earth, He was beaten, too. He got scars, too. And every scar tells a story. You and I are that story. It's about how very, very much He loves you.
God talks about it in our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 53, beginning with verse 3. It's a description of what Jesus Christ went through for you and me. It says, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering...He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows...He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him." Remember who this is. This is the sinless Son of God, the one the Bible calls the "Prince of glory" (1 Corinthians 2:8). And He's pierced, punished, and crushed. Not for anything He did. All for things you and I did. Because He had come to absorb the punishment for every wrong thing we've ever done.
There's only one thing Jesus took back to heaven from earth - the scars. The nail prints in His hands and feet; the ones that are there because of how very much He loves you. Every scar has a story. The wounds of Jesus tell us, "Your sins require an awful death penalty. I've paid that price so you can be forgiven. I don't want to lose you."
I guess you can see why God will never forget what you do with His Son. And why it is fatal to try to depend on anything other than Jesus to get right with God and go to heaven. You may be counting on your Christian knowledge, your Christian background, your Christian connections, or some Christian ritual. You may be hoping to make it because of how religious you are or how good you've been. But if any of those things could have gotten you to heaven, there's no way Jesus would have gone through what He did for you. His death is your only hope of heaven, of being forgiven.
He's been waiting for you to respond to His love for you maybe for a long time, by giving yourself to the One who gave Himself completely for you. You know you could do that right where you are. Just tell Him, "Jesus, thank You for what You went through to pay for all the wrong things that I have done. You are my only hope. And beginning right now, I am Yours."
Finally, you can belong to Jesus, not just believe things about Jesus. If you want to make sure that you have begun a personal relationship with Him. If you want more information on how to get started in a relationship with Him and to know that you have what He died to give you, I'd invite you to go where a lot of people have gone. It's our website. It's really designed to help you know how to get started with Him. The website is YoursForLife.net. I'd encourage you to go there at your first opportunity today. Or I could send you my little booklet Yours For Life. It has much of the same information in it. It's no cost; toll free number is 877-741-1200.
The scars of Jesus tell the story of how very much He loves you. There's an old hymn that says it pretty well, "I shall know Him, I shall know Him, as redeemed by His side I shall stand. I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side by the print of the nails in His hand."
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