After reviewing the course of our lives and the things the past has brought about, it is clear that many of us are dealing with hurt levied against us. A damaged root is not always the fault of the wounded. Nevertheless, issues remain and may cause lifelong struggles. Life has a way of grounding even the most positive person. Yet as we will learn through the scripture, God has the remedy for all afflictions. The Lord knew the heart and conflict of people. The Creator prepared the way for full redemption even before we came to be. He redeemed us from sin and the affect of it long before we were born.
Isaiah prophesied about this Savior: He was “wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5. Jesus was both wounded and bruised. He took on Himself the cumulative pain of the world when He drank the cup of death. Wounds are considered cuts from without. They are punctures of the skin and muscle, sometimes even more severe, that cause extreme blood loss. Bruising is not considered a wound as it is revealed through the inner broken blood vessels that show up under the thin layer of skin. With bruising, the muscle and bone suffer the heavy hit that tenderizes the tissue. Sometimes bruising takes longer to heal than wounds. Jesus suffered both. He took it all on Calvary so that we could be free. He was wounded and bruised for the sins of mankind. Every internal conflict as well as every open sin was placed upon His body. He was the Lamb of God that took away sins, shame, heartache, abuse, confusion, abandonment, and so much more. It was the greatest redemption plan in human history; that God Himself would become a man and die for us.
The way for us to be healed is three-fold: First we must ask and then accept His forgiveness for our lives. He doesn’t hate us for the things we have done wrong. He is full of love and compassion. God is slow to anger, slow to wrath and of great kindness. When we repent and bring ourselves before Him, He forgives us. Repentance means an about face. We turn away from our old life to follow Him. Secondly, we must learn how to forgive ourselves for our own mistakes. There is no condemnation like self-condemnation. This is the place where we are overcome with feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, and humiliation, but herein lies the beauty of the scripture. 1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
Finally, we must learn how to forgive others. Even if they don’t ask for it; if they won’t admit to their infractions against us, we must learn how to forgive them openly and personally. We cannot receive forgiveness from Christ if we do not sincerely forgive those who have wounded us. The Cross of Calvary is the clearest picture of this kind of forgiveness. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Forgiveness then becomes the healing balm for every wounded and bruised life. When we forgive others of their wrongs we not only release them, but we also set ourselves free. The roots of our lives can become healed which in turn creates the fruit of peace, patience, and mercy. If these things do not exist, then we must go back to the root and work to restore what is damaged. Jesus said that all men shall know that we are His by the fruit that we bear. He didn’t say “by the leaves” or by some personal commentary. We are known by our fruit. This means that we must seek every level of forgiveness in order to walk upright before the Lord. How wonderful it will be when our lives match our profession! Speaking the truth in love that we may grow up in Him. We are Taking Root.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole