“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5, NLT)
This morning was different than last Monday’s fast. I wasn’t hungry at all, but I still wanted to eat. Throughout the morning, I’ve experienced the desire to eat, without truly being hungry. I’ve been hungry, so the difference is clear to me. Using this emotional desire to sit down to a meal has reminded me of how much I need Christ emotionally.
Sin brought more than physical and spiritual death into our beings, it brought with it an emotional or psychological pain. Christ understands the pain and bore it to Calvary. He exchanges his peace for our pain. He gives us acceptance in place for our rejection.
The man or the woman who sought meaning in the pursuit of the pleasures of this world, find themselves in chains. Someone told me this week until they truated Christ they had sought meaning in pleasures that only brought pain to them and others. “Pastor, when I gave my heart to Christ I found everything I needed.” Their pain from what they understood was insecurity. My joy is seeing this person walking in truth and love, secure in Christ.
Someone else shared this with me yesterday and said feel free to share it with others. So listen to this. “For years I prayed to the saints [to no avail] then it dawned on me just go straight to the Father. So I did and shortly, the miracle I prayed for God graciously gave.” Again the emotional and psychological need was met by trusting in Christ.
No, I’m not physically hungry, but the wholeness and healing that all people hunger for is available only through Christ. “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (vs. 5) Fasting naturally assumes confession of all known sin and receiving Christ’snforgiveness. Don’t worry if there are sins in our lives that we haven’t acknowledged, the Holy Spirit will reveal them to us. That’s such a great mercy to lean in. Sin is like a cancer to our soul.
Yesterday, one of our teen drama groups presented a sketch that connected Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection with Christmas. They declared, “Now that’s news!” I would make that Good News!
1. Recognize my identity is found in Christ.
2. I am created in God’s image, therefore emotional wholeness was provided for in the atonement.
3. Refuse to allow the enemy of my soul a foothold in my life. Don’t give up any ground.
4. During our Monday Advent fast allow your “hunger” to focus your thoughts on Christ.
5. Share with your encouragement partners what you hunger and thirst for. Encourage one another to be passionate followers of Christ.
6. Share this post with someone.