"I have a message from God for you. You are healed." This came to me from a virtual stranger. My heart received the message, and my head asked, "Is the messenger a reliable representative of God?" (There are many false witnesses in the world today. We must be careful to see the message against the backdrop of the Truth of Scripture.)
"Well, if this is a true message, then the CT scan will show it," I replied. (God does not do His work of healing in secret. The blind people that Jesus healed could give clear evidence; they could point to a building, identify the color of their shirt, recognize the face of a mother. The lame man could jump and run for all to see. When God heals, we do not need to be afraid of medical science confirming that healing.)
I then confirmed to this stranger that I was not longing to be healed; I was longing only to be a faithful steward of whatever length of days the Lord gave to me. I also confirmed that my hope was not in any medical system; my hope was in the character of God.
In the following days, as I digested the declaration of this stranger, poured over the Scriptures, and discussed with Dave and Matthew, it came to me that the message of the stranger was absolutely correct.
I am healed...in every way! Sickness of mind, of soul, of body is a direct result of Sin in the world. And one day the Holy One will complete the work of eradicating Sin. That Work began in Eternity Past, when the Father made the plan and the Son submitted Himself to that plan. It continued through the generations of Man as the Son's human line was determined...son of Abraham, son of David, son of Bethlehem. It culminated in that great Battle between the Son and the Wicked One. This watershed event on the Cross set the future, so much so that Jesus could say "It is finished" as He took his last breath.
It is indeed finished, but all of it is not yet implemented. The Holy Spirit was sent to indwell all true believers; He was sent as a "down-payment,", a "seal" of future things.
And what are these future things? They are wrapped up in the concept that Sin is banished from the universe. And all that is associated with Sin, including physical pain and death, relational fractures, governmental dysfunction, social power struggles, miscommunications, incorrect thinking. All problems of any sort will cease to exist when Sin is finally and completely removed.
This is my Hope: The same Jesus who won the Battle for my soul upon the Cross will complete the work of my redemption by removing all Sin from my experience, thereby completely healing all my body, all my relationships, all my mental processes, all my stubbornness of heart that sets itself against God.
The Wicked One worked hard to prevent the Father's plan of bringing His Son to the Cross. And he is still working hard to delude us mere humans into not understanding and not trusting the Father's completion of that plan. How many of us are floundering in despair because we have not lifted our eyes to the Cross and trusted what happened there? How many of us are drowning in Life's events because we fail to put our feet upon the immovability of the Father's plan?
An event happened about 4,000 years ago that is a picture of all that I'm trying to say in words. Millions of people were living together in camps, much like the Bedouin Arabs do today in the Middle East. Poisonous snakes entered their camps, biting the people. Men, women and children were suddenly facing imminent death. They cried out to God, who heard them. "Make a carving of a snake upon a pole. Set it high in the midst of the camp. Anyone who is bitten can look at this pole, and they will be healed," He said. The carving was made; the pole was erected. The only thing that remained dealt with the personal will of the bitten individual. Each man, woman, and child who was bitten had to submit his stubborn pride to the instructions for healing. He had to look. He had to force his eyes, by an act of his will, by his own independent choice, to lift up high and find the pole. He had to rest his vision upon that carving that was hung between Heaven and Earth. And in that looking, he was yielding himself to the healing power of the One who had made the plan. (See Numbers 21.)
And so it is with us. The Father has already lifted His Son, hung between Heaven and Earth, for our healing. We have been bitten by the Serpent. We are all dying...physically, spiritually, socially, intellectually. And the Father invites us to look upon the Cross, to fix our vision upon the Son, and in that gaze to yield ourselves to the healing power of the One who made the plan.
The Scriptures do not tell us how long it took for the people in the camp to be healed. Perhaps some were healed instantly; perhaps others suffered for a day, or a week. But the Scriptures say that all who looked upon the pole were healed.
And so it is with us. If we fix our eyes upon the Cross, we will be healed. It is just a matter of time. In the providence of God, for His own glory and purposes, He may heal some of us instantly. But others He may heal after a while. And still others He will heal only at the end of Time.
The question is not When. The question is How.
And the answer is "By the Cross of Jesus Christ."
Yes, I am healed. It is a certain thing. Because the Cross is certain. And the promise of the Cross is certain. My eyes are fixed upon the Savior, and in that fixed gaze I am yielding myself to the healing power of the One who made the plan of the Cross.
October 28, 2010