One morning as I was spending time in the presence of the Lord, I asked—confident I had no outstanding issues, and things basically covered—“What do You want me to see?”
I got the word “bruises.”
That’s kind of a funny word, isn’t it? While I have forgiven everyone I can think of who had ever hurt me, I realized then that I still might have a few bruises. That got me thinking.
First, I thought of the verse: “. . . he was bruised for my iniquities,” (Isaiah 53: 5b, KJV). So, I looked it up in the Hebrew. It can read “He was bruised (more like a crushing blow) FROM my evil.”
Second, I wondered, What is a bruise? Of course, I looked that up on the Internet and eventually turned to WebMD. (To those in the medical community, forgive me if this definition falls a bit short.)
A bruise is a common skin injury that results in a discoloration of the skin. Blood from damaged blood cells deep beneath the skin collects near the surface of the skin . . . People typically get bruises when they bump into something or when something bumps into them.
Well, we sure bump into one another from time to time! And some of the harder bumps we get from one another leave bruises. We are human; we are flawed. We unintentionally and sometimes intentionally wound and bruise one another.
The Word tells us “life . . . is in the blood,” (Lev. 17:11). From WebMD’s definition for bruising, we see that a little bit of “life” gets caught up in the injury. We often don’t feel it until it is disturbed.
We know we should forgive the actions that cause gaping wounds, but bumps that bruise us are a little more subtle. We don’t always address the “little offenses.” However, we certainly protect ourselves just a bit around the one who caused our bruise, even if it is subconscious.
While forgiveness can lead to the healing of a wound, bruising around the wound can make it sensitive. Things that are forgiven can remain peaceful, until someone brings it up and bumps into that sensitive area! That’s one that hit me: I forgive, forget, and move on. But I’m still a bit bruised, so don’t remind me or bump too hard!
Jesus died for our sins and also for our healing (Isaiah 53:5). When He died, not only was the sin destroyed, but our bruises were cared for too.
Yes, He still carries the scars in his body, but they are different from bruises. Bruises can remain sensitive. Since he took on all human iniquity, we can look to Him for forgiveness of sin as well as relief from the soreness of the offenses against us.
Romans 6:5 teaches us that we have been united with Him in death. And if we have died with Him, we also are made alive in his Resurrection. We no longer are slaves to sin—or the bruises. We are healed! We have Resurrection life, just like He does!
We may bear scars, but He died for the bruises and we no longer have to smart over things that have bumped into us!
It’s quite something. Jesus took in all the sin of the world on the cross. Everything evil that was ever done and will be done, along with the hurt, he took into his body. He did this so we don’t have to! But isn’t it amazing that those who look to Him in repentance are forgiven and He remembers their offense no more? Isn’t He bruised by what we have done to Him? Not even a little.
When we die, we will be free from sin’s wounds and bruises just like our Savior. It won’t matter anymore. But we can live that way now, because of our participation in his death and resurrection. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his!” (Romans 6:5)
Are you bruised? Look to Jesus. Let him take it into his body. Be healed in the likeness of His resurrection!
Merilyn Lauffer was an international worker with the Alliance in Israel for 16 years. After illness changed their location, she to Colorado Springs to serve in the National Office. Merilyn works part time in donor relations, but is passionate about soul care and teaches Deeper Life classes at Clayhouse Alliance Church.