“Can we follow the Savior far, who have no wound or scar?”
-Amy Carmichael, God’s Missionary
My views of who God is have been constantly challenged over the years. He has changed from the one with superhuman powers, too strict, incomprehensible, too genocidal, unfair, proud, judgmental, and then almost whiplash inducing, wham! I stand face to face with Christ. The image of the invisible God. I had a hard time reconciling the Pillar of Fire Old Testament God, to the Human God of the New.
Most of what I knew of God was secondhand information. I repeated church lingo. Like Ruth, I knew Him as their God before He became my God. That’s why the question Jesus asked his disciples in Matthew 16:15 was so important. When all the curtains are closed, when we are alone, who do we say Christ is? Is He Lord? God? Or mere flesh and bones, disintegrated and forgotten? Perhaps a figment of our imagination? A crutch humanity falls upon because we are hopelessly in need of hope? Who do you believe Christ is?
I could praise Christ’s attributes from now until eternity, but the part of Him that connects with me the most is how he walked around in flesh. Gosh! God really just came down and showed us how to be human. He is the God that bled, worked, got thirsty, felt pain, cried, needed food, was betrayed, had to ensure his breath was fresh and asked for another way out when gruesome death was near. He even got angry, turned over tables that one time. So much for the gentle Jesus, meek and mild.
When emotions threaten to consume you, and anxiety seeks to control you, look to the God who knows exactly what that feels like. Remember the Garden of Gethsemane. It would be insufficient to just have a God who understands but is no help. Christ is much more, He is enduringly triumphant. He told Thomas, “Put your finger in my scars.”
Are you bleeding from wounds? Jesus’ response is, “See my scars, touch the jagged skin, I have healed from them.” He boasts, and rightly so, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” Expressed differently He is saying, “Hope in me, I have the power to let you overcome too.”
Practical Tip: Write the attributes of God you have experienced for yourself. Answer, Who is Christ to you?