By His Wounds is a study and meditation for those who wrestle with the complexities of one’s Fallen Self.
For 40 days now we have observed the season of Lent. We have pondered, meditated, and considered Jesus’ eyes upon us, and our eyes of faith gazing upon the unconditional and immeasurable love, mercy, and grace of Jesus. With our eyes upon Jesus, and by the nurture of the Holy Spirit, we realize our eyes upon each other, too. Delivered from sin, judgement, and condemnation, we now see each other through the eyes of Jesus. We now see each other with eyes of mercy, love and forgiveness.
Each week and session of our study, By His Wounds, we have meditated upon the Gospel truth that the Suffering Servant suffers for our sin, and also the personal and particular maladies of our flesh.
Jesus, the Suffering Servant, has become ugly for us. He is a man from whom men hide their faces. He is hated and rejected for us. He has become broken for us. He is pierced, gouged, and beaten to death for us. He has become silenced for us. He does not complain. He does not blame or accuse. He becomes cast off and lonely for us. He is buried in a borrowed tomb.
In this session, our sixth and final session, Isaiah 53:11-12, we see a Jesus who is anguished for us, broken hearted for us. Jesus cries. He weeps. He toils for the children He came to save.
Jesus, the Suffering Servant, knows your heart. He knows your hurt. He identifies with you in every way. And by His wounds we are healed.
The Anguished Jesus, Isaiah 53:11-12
Jesus, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53:11-12, is anguished. He cries out in despair. Yet, He prays not for Himself. He prays the Divine Will of God, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” And He prays for those He came to save. He begs for mercy. He begs for you and me. He begs His Father for our forgiveness. He bears our iniquity. And by His wounds we are healed.
The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. David Bednar, clergyman, b. 1952
What People Say about Anguish
While we yearn for peace, we live in a world burdened with hunger, pain, anguish, loneliness, sickness, and sorrow.― Joseph Wirthlin, businessman, b. 1907
Anguish: As a noun anguish is severe mental, emotional, spiritual and physical suffering a person experiences in a situation of loss, fear, isolation, rejection, and persecution.
Synonyms to Anguish include:
Agony, torment, torture, pain, suffering, distress, angst, misery, grief, despair, and sorrow
As a verb, anguish is to be extremely distressed or overwhelmed about something or some situation.
Have you ever felt anguish? How did you feel?
Anguish is derived from the Latin word angustiae, meaning extreme pain, distress, and anxiety. The feeling of suffering from anguish is typically preceded by a tragedy or event that has a profound meaning to the being in question. Anguish can be felt physically or mentally (often referred to as emotional distress). Loss, or perceptions of loss, is a common source of anguish. Fear, loneliness and isolation, rejection, and pain can also cause anguish. Anguish is also a term used in philosophy and often as a translation from the Latin word for angst.
Anguish is made up of fear, distress, anxiety and panic. These stressors cause an enormous amount of dissonance, which could then lead to issues of mental health. While taken literally anguish may be defined as a physical event, but it may be extrapolated to an event of one’s psyche.
Anguish of mind has driven thousands to suicide; anguish of body, none. This proves that the health of the mind is of far more consequence to our happiness than the health of the body, although both are deserving of much more attention than either of them receive.— Charles Caleb Colton, b. 1720
Psalm 6: Words of Anguish and Hope
O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord -how long? 4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? 6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7 My f eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak be-cause of all my foes. 8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, rejoices when the angel tells her she will conceive and bear a son. “I am the Lord’s servant; May your Word be fulfilled.”
But could Mary fully understand the implications of her service? She will bear the Child. She will also bear the anguish of losing Him to violence and sin.
It is a terrible thing to injure a child. But who will hold sacred that it is one’s own sin that has injured and caused the death of Jesus, Mary’s son?
Mary anguishes as none we can imagine. She anguishes the brutal death of her beloved Child.
God’s Word Speaks of Anguish
Because Jesus, the Suffering Servant, has anguished for us, our anguish now has new meaning and purpose. By the nurture, courage, and strength of the Holy Spirit, given to us in God’s Word, our anguish is used by God to strengthen our faith and to point us to God’s saving Grace in Jesus.
Meditate upon God’s on God’s promises:
1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
James 1:12, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will re-ceive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Revelation 21:4, [in the Resurrection, God, through Christ] ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Romans 5:3-4, Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character produces hope.
By His Wounds
Jesus knows your heart. Jesus knows you hurt. Jesus comforts us so that we, then, can comfort each other and all people. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, 3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Loneliness is a source of anguish. During this season of “social distancing” and “self isolation,” many people are without the companionship of family, friends, and the Church. With more time on your hands, you can call one person a day and with the intention of sharing God’s Word and grace, and to pray.
In Baptism, God unites His people into one family having equal concern for one another, rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep, so that there would be no division in the body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Beautiful, New Creations
Sin separates God’s people. Sin causes loneliness, isolation, and anguish.
But God in His Wonder and Mercy does not want for anyone to be in anguish. When God first created Adam He declared, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
God designs and intends for us to be in relationship with each other, to carry for each other, and to bear each other’s burdens.
Of course we sin. We all do. And sin hurts. But by the love and mercy of Jesus, who bears our burdens and hurts, and by His Holy Spirit, we can forgive each other 70 x 7 times. We can carry each other’s burdens.
Jesus said, Whatever you do for the least of these — the hungry, the naked, the stranger, and the man in prison — you have done for me, Matthew 25: 35-40.
During these 40 days of vision we have witnessed the anguish of Jesus for us so that we would anguish no more. By the wounds of Jesus we are healed!
For these 40 Days of Lent we have meditated upon Jesus’ eyes upon us. This is the good new of the Gospel that reminds us that Jesus loves and forgives us always. We have also sought to return our eyes to Jesus in faith. This is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit who guides our lives in God pleasing ways. Each week we have learned and declared with Scripture, “By His Wounds We are Healed.” This has real implication and promise for us. We are resurrected with Christ. We are brand new. Now, by Christ, we are lovely to God and loving to others. We are accepted by God and accepting of others. We are made whole by God and we encourage others. We are declared holy and righteous by God. We speak encouraging and uplifting things to others. We are no longer lonely or alone, and we reach out to others with the same grace God gives to us. We are no longer in anguish, grief or sorrow. We are at peace, and we share true peace, shalom, with all people. Christ has suffered all things for us and risen triumphantly from the grave. Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!!