Midweek Wake-Up, April 20th, 2019

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Written by: on: March 20, 2019

The woman described in Mark chapter 5: 25-34 is a social outcast who is desperate for healing, cleansing and peace. For twelve years she has been subject to continual bleeding.  In her Jewish context, this meant that she was unclean. She couldn’t go to the temple to worship the living God, she couldn’t enjoy normal relationships. Before going anywhere in public she would need to announce that she was coming and that she was unclean.  Anyone who touched her would be contaminated and defiled by her and would need to be ceremonially cleansed. Despite spending all her money on doctors her condition only got worse. Alienated from the living God and rejected by people – this woman bore a heavy burden of shame.

And yet with one act of faith, one touch of Jesus’ cloak the woman is healed, cleansed and welcomed by Jesus who says “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34)   If ever there was a transformational moment this was it!  What a beautiful picture of healing, cleansing and salvation (the Greek word for “healed”  also means “saved”.    Imagine the acceptance and joy this lady must have felt as Jesus addresses her as “daughter”.

One of our congregation recently told me how former friends are somewhat amazed that she is coming to church now.  The former friends have told her “do they know what you’ve done and what you were like?”  Truth is, we don’t really need to know.  As a Christian, I know my own heart, I know my own past – my own sin.  We were once all unclean before a holy God. A Christian is someone who realizes their uncleanness and who has reached out in faith to Jesus.  Someone who has put their trust in him alone for cleansing.

Trying to be good enough for God, just doesn’t work – in fact, it leads to despair.  Let me remind you again of the words of one of our council members as he shared his testimony a couple of years ago:  “I came to realize that there was nothing that I could do that would make God love me more, and there was nothing I could do that would make God love me less.”   Oh, that we would all increasingly grasp this wonderful truth.  With this truth comes peace, rest, joy, worship and the real motivation for ongoing life transformation.  By the way, Lauren is preaching this coming Sunday.

NSC, are we truly amazed by this?  Chris Tomlin puts it well in his beautiful song “Jesus Messiah”.  Why not take time to meditate on all that Jesus has done for us today, including what you were and what you’ve become as a child of God. It will do your soul so much good!

He became sin, who knew no sin
That we might become his righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross
Love so amazing, love so amazing