When forensic scientists examine a body after death, even decades later, they can discover details of the person’s death from a very small piece of evidence.
If we studied the evidence of Jesus’ death and the wounds He had, we could discover who killed him (us) and how we killed him (with our sin).
If we studied the evidence of Jesus’ death and the wounds He had, we could discover who killed him (us) and how we killed him (with our sin). We know that Jesus died for our sins, but as you look in the mirror, do you know the specific things about yourself for which Jesus died? What freedom did He intend for you to have? What things do you do continually that He intends for you to no longer have to do?
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
He died because we sinned, but also so that we can be delivered from our sins. That means there are actually sins you commit right now that you can stop doing.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Can you imagine that you can be the righteousness of God and that someone else can experience God through your life?
1. THE LACERATED WOUND: a wound produced by a tearing or ripping instrument. Matthew 27:26
Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. Matthew 27:26
The Romans, masters of torture, beat Jesus’ bare back with a club that had nine leather straps with bone and metal chips tied in. A sentence of forty lashes was essentially a death penalty, as it was thought to be the number that one could not survive. Jesus was given one fewer lashing so that He would still be alive for His crucifixion.
How many of our backstabbing comments did Jesus pay for in these lashes? Ask God which of your actions contributed to the beatings of Jesus. Could it be talking behind someone’s back? Gossipping about or defaming another person? Turning your back on someone who has asked for help? Imagine the transformation that could happen in your life if you were to turn away from these sins!
2. THE PENETRATING WOUND: a deep wound caused by a sharp, pointed instrument. Matthew 27:29
When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Matthew 27:29
The thorns on Jesus’ crown pressing into His head are believed to have been about two inches long. Thorns are a symbol of the curse, as they were created after Adam and Eve sinned. The wounds to Jesus’ head are symbolic of the evil thoughts we can have in our minds: observations or judgments of people’s clothing or lack of intelligence, or even negative thoughts about yourself, your insignificance or hopelessness.
God thinks so much of you that He died for you! He died also that your thoughts could be freed and transformed, focused on what is praiseworthy, pure, honest, and holy.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
3. THE CONTUSED WOUND: a wound produced by a blunt instrument. Matthew 27:30
Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. Matthew 27:30
Jesus endured punches and blunt beatings with a reed. These contusions can represent the blunt things we have said, actions we have taken against people, arrogant thoughts, and selfish things that knock others down. He died for things people say and do that hurt the hearts of others.
Many of us take pride in speaking our minds, but next time your feelings want to come out automatically as words, slow down and check in with God. Ask Him to help you only speak words that glorify Him and edify or encourage others.
4. THE PERFORATING WOUND: from the Latin word meaning, “to pierce through;” a wound with an entrance and exit. Matthew 27:31
And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:31
When Jesus was crucified, He was laid on wood and His hands and feet were nailed through with 6-8” spikes that went in and out the other side.
Which sins of ours go right through us and spread to others? How many people curse because you cursed? Get drunk because you get drunk? Gossip because you gossipped? We have already made disciples of evil and wrong as people follow our examples of sin, but Jesus calls us to make disciples of righteousness, so we are responsible not to take advantage of the grace we have been given. Take a few minutes to think about the opportunities you have at work, school, or with family or friends to give an example of glorifying God rather than satisfying sin.
5. THE INCISED WOUND: a cut produced by a sharp-edged instrument. John 19:32-34
Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. John 19:32-34
Jesus’s heart was so stressed during His crucifixion that His white and red blood vessels separated from each other, which was revealed when His heart sac was pierced. He died of a broken heart. God wants our hearts to break for our sin and His love for us. He wants us to care for the same things He does.
Pastor Miles challenged each of us to identify something in our lives that needs to change and to embrace and believe in the freedom from that act that Jesus bought on the cross.
We can argue that we are all sinners and are probably always going to sin, but why wouldn’t we rather argue that God can provide us freedom from sin?
If you gossip and tear people down with your words, you can actually stop doing that.
If you curse, you can actually stop cursing.
If you get high, you can stop getting high.
Ask God to purify you from the sin you commit again and again. Be willing to see how far God can take you!