Thursday, January 13, 2011

Comforts from the Cross - Day 5

Cured---and Clean

His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?'" -Mark 5:31

To have some insight into today's encouragement, you have to start with this incredible story of the woman Jesus healed in Mark 5:25-34. This woman carried the labels of unclean, defiled, and excluded from society. Under the Old Testament laws, her condition even left her isolated from her family. Verse 27 says, "She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment."  She came looking for physical healing that day, but the gift she would receive was much greater than any physical healing. Jesus asked the disciples who touched Him, but I am sure He had known her name since the beginning. The woman knew she had been healed and answered the question of Jesus by coming to Him. She seems to come to Jesus in fear, yet with great faith as she falls before His feet.  Like only our precious Savior can do, He comforts her with these words, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace..." Jesus called her "Daughter" which is a sweet term of endearment and indicates a family relationship. I am sure she would have been happy to be made well physically that day, but Jesus came to do more than just heal.  He came to restore what has been broken since man fell into sin at the beginning.  He invited her into a relationship with Him, and invites us to do the same.  A relationship based on faith in Him - who He is and what He has done to redeem us from the defilement of sin.    

One thought that baffles my mind about this is that the woman was unclean and everyone she touched became unclean until she met Jesus.  Elyse writes, "Because Jesus is completely pure, He isn't concerned about becoming defiled by touching us. Instead He draws us near; He speaks to us in love. He sees our desperation, our bankruptcy, and our uncleanness, and He still desires a relationship." What is amazing about Jesus is that as we draw closer to Him, it is actually His holiness that infects you and me!

As I have pondered these thoughts, a song came to mind by Matthew Smith titled Redeemed, Restored, Forgiven. I can imagine this woman that was healed would have related perfectly to the second verse of this song.  I know its truth is something my thankful heart should sing every day!

Once on a dreary mountain
We wandered far and wide,
Far from the cleansing fountain
Far from the pierced side
But Jesus sought and found us
And washed our guilt away
With cords of love He bound us
To be His own today

Redeemed, restored, forgiven
Through Jesus' precious blood
Heirs of His home in heaven
Oh, praise our pardoning God

Dear Lord receive the glory
Of each recovered soul
Oh who can tell the story
Of love that made us whole?
Not our, not ours, the merit
Be Yours alone the praise
And ours a thankful spirit
To serve You all our days

Now keep us, holy Savior
In Your true love and fear
And grant us by Your favor
The grace to persevere

Till in Your new creation
When Earth meets Heaven's shore
We find our full salvation
And praise You evermore

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