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Where is God in my Deepest Wounds?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2022 9:00 pm

Where is God in my Deepest Wounds?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 2, 2022 9:00 pm

How does God respond to our deepest wounds? Author David Mathis extends strength and comfort from the wounds of a fully-human Jesus.

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What's so significant about the resurrection isn't just that the resurrection vindicates the accomplishment of his death.

Oh, it does that for sure. I mean, the resurrection vindicates what he did. He was sinless. He died for our sins, not his own.

But what's so amazing about the resurrection is he's alive. You can know him. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson, and you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on our Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. I recently sat down with David Mathis. Do you know him? Yeah, I know him because he's written some books.

Yeah. And, you know, he's written one called Rich Wounds, which is a look at the life, the death and the resurrection of Christ, which is perfect as we move into Lent season and get ready to celebrate Easter. I mean, this guy's a deep theologian. Well, I'm excited for our listeners to hear this because you get into the death of Christ. So Good Friday, we often jump forward to Easter and the resurrection, but we don't as often sit in the death of Jesus.

Yeah. And I tell you, as I listen to him and I think our listeners are going to love this as well. It's like you get a vision of the glory of God in Christ. But he also did a great job explaining the humanity, which we often miss about Jesus. And that's what today's all about.

So I'm excited for our listeners to hear this. Dave, we've already talked a little bit about how you walk through Lent, through the life, the death, the triumph of Christ. Let's talk about the death, but really the humanity of Christ, which so often I think we miss because, you know, he's God, but he's God in flesh.

I remember in seminary the first time I ever heard the phrase hypostatic union. That's a phrase most people don't hear, but let's talk about how he can be fully God and fully man and what that means. You're the theologian sitting in here, enlighten us. For the apostles and for those who saw and touched and knew Jesus in his human life on earth, that he was human was the given. What he showed them over time was that this is God himself. This is not just a fully human person. This is God himself in the flesh. However, once Jesus ascended and the next generation of Christians and on through us, to be Christian is to begin with Jesus is Lord.

So the thing that we typically take as the given is that he's God, you know, he's Lord, he's Yahweh himself in human flesh. Interesting. We do flip it, don't we? We start there.

They couldn't have started there. And sometimes what we don't work at is his full humanity. It might be the case, at least in my little experience, the churches I've been at in South Carolina and Minnesota probably would be stronger on the full deity of Jesus than they would be on the fullness and the extent of his humanity. I mean, it gets kind of uncomfortable when we're talking about the one that we worship as God and how fully human he is.

He is shockingly fully human. So not just fully human in his human body, which is an amazing thing to think that God himself became human, like took these bodies. He didn't do this for angels. Hebrews chapter 2 talks about he has not become angels. It's not angels that he helped. He helped the offspring of Abraham.

And so angels long to look into the redemption that is ours because the God of the universe became one of us. He became human. So Jesus had a fully human body. It didn't just seem human.

It wasn't a hologram or a projection. He was fully human with his feet on the ground. But not just his body. Jesus has human emotions as well. Now that doesn't mean he doesn't have the divine equivalent of emotions, but he has fully human emotions. And one place that we see that so clearly is in John 11 as he weeps with Mary and Martha and those who grieve the death of their beloved friend, Lazarus.

Maybe we can come back to that. Let me just finish the fully human equation. He has a fully human mind.

And that's not in conflict with his divine mind. You mentioned hypostatic union. It's the fancy Greek term for personal union.

So hypostasis is referring to the word that became identified with person. What's meant by hypostatic union is that in one person, personal is the union of two full and complete natures. So Jesus is fully God, and he's fully man in one person. It's united. Godhead and manhood united in one person.

Hypostatic union. One person. And what that means is with respect to his divinity, Jesus is omniscient. And with respect to his humanity, he's what's called niscient, meaning he doesn't know it all. Jesus says to his disciples, of that second coming, of that day, only the father knows, not even the son. Now, all that Jesus knows with respect to his humanity, he knows without error, but he doesn't know everything.

The human mind is finite and with limitations. And so with respect to Christ, one person, we can say he is both niscient as human and he is omniscient as God. And then even in church history, push this further into the seventh century, sixth ecumenical council talking about his divine will, that as he acts in the Garden of Gethsemane to say, not your will, but not my will, get that right, not my will, but yours be done.

He's speaking there as a human. We hear his word through the gospels as a human speaking, not my human will, but yours, father, be done. And as God himself, we know in theology, he's saying, my will is God, but not my will as man be done. I don't want to die. God made humans not to want to die. We rightly recoil from pain and death.

And even though Jesus in his humanity, in his flesh, he recoils from death in embracing the divine will, which is his own will as God, in embracing the divine will, he steps forward in obedience in Gethsemane. Okay. And I can envision, you know, a wife or a husband listening right now going, okay, it's all great. It's pretty deep. We're down there where it's deep.

What does that mean for me as a husband, me as a wife? I think I know where you're going to go, but you know, as I listen to that, it's profound in one sense. Like I said, I'm sitting in a seminary class years ago and I hear this term that, you know, you just laid out hypostatic union, which I don't think I ever used once in a sermon, you know, probably a good thing to the church. Cause it's like, how are you going to explain that? But it's a beautiful picture of the, you know, fully divine, fully human, deity, humanity, all in Christ.

Okay. So help us understand how do I live that out? As I hear that and I reflect on that, how does that impact me in real time right now? There's a sense in which the whole of the Christian faith goes through the hypostatic union. However, we need to flesh out some particular manifestation. We could talk about the dignity of humanity, that of all the creatures, God himself and the person of his son took our humanity. There is a remarkable dignifying of what it means to be human. And Christians need not feel like our humanity is this error or problem, or that God means to free us from our humanity, that eternity will be, we're freed from this human body and all the terrible things of being a human. And now we can float around like the angels. No, no, angels long to look into what we are remarkably because of Jesus. So there's a remarkable dignifying of humanity in it.

Another thing is... Which by the way, you know, when you say that, I think of a number of times and I'm guessing I'm not alone that I look in a mirror and I don't feel that. You know, I don't always look in a mirror like, I don't know if you're not old enough to remember the Fonz in Happy Days. I've heard of him. I think I saw reruns as a kid. There you go.

I just dated myself, but he would look in a mirror at the beginning of the show with his comb and he just like, oh, I look so good. There's nothing that I can make better. We usually look in the mirror and think, oh, you know, I would change this and that. We don't appreciate the dignity of who God says we are. And like you just said, of Christ taking on human form, it means that we matter. We are, we do have dignity. That changes our identity because we're a son of the King.

We're the daughter of the King. So that's a beautiful thought. That's real. That changes how I live today.

Absolutely. When you stand in front of the mirror, like, am I being informed by Instagram and tabloids and a general cultural worldly sense of what really matters of humanity or am I being informed by God? I mean, Jesus, you know, in worldly terms, he had no former majesty that we should, you know, take all of him.

That's the prophecy from Isaiah. So Jesus didn't look like the Fonz and oh, what beauty that God himself would take on human form. So one thing, if you have working hands, that is a marvel, like what these human hands can do and what God designed to do to look at those hands.

Marvel, I have hands or I have eyes that work or a mouth or a tongue that forms words or ears that hear words or a nose that smells, you know, we can go on and on about the amazing part of humanity. That isn't necessarily fully Christian yet until we make those applications to Jesus and his salvific work. So maybe the next place I would go is to the extent to which God himself went in the person of his son to save you all the way. Not just save your spirit, to free your spirit from this world and your body when you're done. He took a body to save your body. He took a human mind to save the human mind. He took human emotions to save our emotions, our hearts, our feelings, and he took a human will to redeem your will. He means to change us from the inside out.

He's in Christ. Our wills are being redeemed. Our emotions are being redeemed. Our minds are being redeemed.

A famous line from a great father of Christian theology, way back in the fourth century, Gregory of Nanzianzus, he said, that which he has not assumed, he has not healed. Meaning, if he doesn't take a fully human body and a fully human soul in its mind and emotions and will, then he doesn't redeem us all the way. Christ took all of what it means to be human, to redeem us all the way.

Heaven and new heavens and new earth. And it's important to say there, accepting sin. To be human doesn't mean to be a sinner. Sin is a blight on humanity. Sin is going to be wiped away and you are going to be all the more human when you do not sin.

When God has made you fully holy. So Jesus, in this sense, has experienced and is more fully human than we have yet to taste. And one day we'll taste in him as our sins are fully wiped away.

We're fully purged. But Christ, in living out the human life apart from sin, experienced a glory of humanity we have not yet fully tasted. And he will draw us into that all the more when that humanity is glorified. That's just a little side note about sin. But the main thing to say is Jesus, in taking our full humanity, is saving us to the uttermost.

All the way. He wants to save and redeem and rescue every aspect about you. And do so forever. And draw you in to the great joy, to the happiness, to the bliss for which you were made and you long for. Saint Augustine said, our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.

And Jesus as man experienced that restlessness. He experienced that sense of, I want to know my father better in my human flesh. And in coming to save us all the way, fully human in mind, body, emotions, will, he saves us to the uttermost to bring us to himself and his father for everlasting joy. So when we offer our bodies and our minds and our will to Christ, because he doesn't take them unless we offer them. When we offer, help us understand what it means when he and, you know, you walk us through in rich wounds, his death and his triumph. We receive a resurrected, triumphal Christ through his Holy Spirit into our temple, our human body. How does that transform us? I mean, the way you think and talk, I just know I'm going to hear something rich come out that isn't often said like, okay, the living Christ lives in this body, in this human form.

What does that mean? Well, one thing to say, so many things. Again, you can run the whole faith through it. What's so significant about the resurrection isn't just that the resurrection vindicates the accomplishment of his death.

Oh, it does that for sure. I mean, the resurrection vindicates what he did. He was sinless. He died for our sins, not his own. And that his work was complete and finished at the cross is vindicated by the resurrection. But what's so amazing about the resurrection is he's alive.

You can know him. He's sitting right now on the throne of the universe. When we read the gospels, we are not reading about a great religious hero who died and isn't alive now and isn't available to know by the power of the Holy Spirit and by his word.

Jesus reigns on the throne of the universe and he is putting his foes under his feet. He is going to bring history to a great close, but right now he is available to know by the spirit through his word. And this is what's so precious about lingering in the gospels, lingering in the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, but in particular the gospels are sweet in that we see Jesus living out human life, human emotions, in a human body, with a human mind, human will, and we glory in this friend that we have in him seated on heaven's throne. Now he's not, you know, buddy, buddy, me and Jesus.

We went to high school together. He's the king of the universe and yet rightly do we sing what a friend we have in Jesus. He has drawn near to us in coming and in saving us and he draws near to us now through his word by the power of the spirit. So when we come to the Bible, it's not a dead word. This is not a history book mainly.

The history in it is reliable and true, but this book is far precious beyond saying true things about the past. This book is the living God, Christ Jesus himself, on the throne of the universe speaking to us by the spirit in real time. You know, as you say all that, I can imagine you sitting, and I don't know if this is true or not, in your family room or at your kitchen table. I met your 11-year-old twin sons. Is this how you talk about Christ in your home?

The way you're talking right here, adult to adult, does it change at all? Because I think it's so beautiful. I just wonder what it looks like in your home as you talk about, as you wrote his life. We haven't even talked about his death. We sort of got to end there with the wondrous cross.

And we just talked about his triumph and his resurrection. But when you talk about this in your home, is this how you do it? Because I'm hoping you're sort of a model for us as men and women of how do we, how do we talk about these grand things in real time in our families? Is that how you do it?

Dave, I'm trying to figure it out. And you know, figuring out what is the right rhythm and frequency and depth with an eight-year-old, nine-year-old, ten-year-old, eleven-year-old. I think with the boys at eleven and a half, more and more of the filters are coming off where it's, I'm just talking to them more and more closer to how I just talk to adults.

Yeah, when you were saying it, I was thinking eleven-year-old, twelve-year-old, they could handle the way you just said it. That's really encouraging to hear. I think so. And I want to do more of that with them. I hope that's what's coming out, even as we travel together, come on a trip, to increasingly have those very frank and direct conversations with them about everything in the world. They see, when they get up in the morning, they see Dad at the kitchen table hunkered down over the book.

And there's an opportunity to provide more and more explanation for that. And I do hope, in family devotions, I try to think that I'm not mainly here explaining this text. I'm not preaching this text. I hear Dad preach. That's a part of the picture for someone who's a pastor, is they hear you talk in public about Jesus. That's an aspect of it to consider. One that I don't deluge them in private in a way that is suffocating.

But also that in private, I need to back up what I say in public. Yeah, they're going to remember as men and as women, Dad sitting with the book. That visual is never going to go away.

And if Dad's living what he's reading and studying, it's going to be cemented in their brain. So we've got to end with this. Good Friday is coming up. Easter is just on the horizon on the calendar. Why is Friday good? From one angle, Good Friday, the day we call Good Friday, was the worst day in the history of the world. God himself was crucified.

This is the most rebellious, insidious act of insurrection by the human race in the history of mankind that we killed, God himself. And nobody called it Good Friday on Holy Saturday. When his apostles were experiencing the longest day of their life, from sun up to sun down on that Saturday, nobody called it good. But he rose on Sunday morning. And what he accomplished on that Friday, in all the blood, in the horror, in the gruesomeness, in the shame, the crucifixion was such a public shame. Hebrews 12, 2, highlights that, despising the shame, he went to the cross. In all that, we see the good that God was doing.

And so rightly do we call it good, not flippantly, like, oh, good Friday, I'm good Friday. God painted good on the otherwise worst day in the history of the world because of what he was accomplishing in Christ. And so get this, whatever wound you have, whatever pain you've experienced, whatever scars you have in your emotions, in your mind, on your body, God can write good on it. He did it in Jesus. And so one thing I love to celebrate on Good Friday is how our God does some of his best, some of his sweetest, the greatest expressions and revelations of his goodness on some of the darkest and hardest times in our life, which doesn't mean they're not hard.

Let the pain stand, let the difficulty stand. That is going to be the dark strokes that accent the beauty of his glory. He will shine out all the more beautiful in his deliverance, in his rescue, when we let the horror stand as it is and see what God is doing with his banner of good over the wounds in our lives.

I mean, you stated it so well. I love the picture of the wounds that we carry being healed because of his wound. Again, that's why it's a rich wounds. His wounds heal us. They give us hope. I know there are men and women, families, even in 2022, walking into Easter without hope because it's been a hard year, maybe a hard week, maybe a hard decade in their lives. And yet this bad Friday that is the best Friday in the history of the world, even though it was a terrible moment, is made good on our behalf because of Sunday. It is the greatest story ever told.

And it's not a story, it's history. And it can change you and your family right here, right now. I'm hoping that people walk through Lent, understanding rich wounds, take your book and just sit down as a family. I can envision a husband or a wife, but I can envision a family.

Did you have that vision in your mind? Going through it together and understanding maybe for the first time, his life, his death, his triumph and passion week in a way that transforms not only them, but their legacy. Whether we're a dad, mom reading our Bible to our kids or reading a book, a short devotional that's short enough to keep the kids attention span. The most important work there as a dad is then in finishing the reading, being able to apply that to our children. I think most four-year-olds are not going to understand my little short devotions here. But when daddy then looks at the four-year-old and says, you know, it's really precious to daddy about this and talks about how it struck your own heart and make that translation to the four-year-old, to the six-year-old, to the eight-year-old, I think that would be very significant. As parents, probably the best way to help our young kids understand the truth of what scripture communicates about how to know God is to do it through our own experiences and talk with our kids about what it actually means to us.

We live as if we actually believe what the Bible says. We unpack the wounds that Jesus experienced. We unpack his death and resurrection through our relationship with him and our kids are able to see that in powerful new ways.

Dave Wilson has been talking with David Mathis and he's written a book called Rich Wounds. This is a 30-day Lenten devotional that leads us toward the Easter season, the day that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's a book to help you reflect and meditate on, marvel at, really, the sacrificial love of Jesus as we count down the days to celebrating his resurrection.

This is a book that you can go through just by yourself. This is a book you can go through with your family, with your kids, as well as a group leading up to the Easter season. We want to make this book available to you as a way to say thank you for any gift that you give to us at Family Life Today. You can head to our website, again, that's familylifetoday.com, and make a donation of any amount. When you do, we will send you a copy of David Mathis' book, Rich Wounds. Again, you can make a donation online or you can call us at 1-800-358-6329.

That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. If this content today or any of the Family Life programs have been helpful for you, we'd love for you to share today's podcast with a friend or family member. Wherever you get your podcasts, it can really advance the gospel effort of what we're doing at Family Life Today if you'd scroll down and rate and review us. Now, when we come back tomorrow, our very own Ron Deal sat down with Lori and Jerry Short and talked about what to do when you find yourself in a brand new situation as a step-parent. What does it look like to step-parent with grace? That's coming up tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-28 01:05:48 / 2023-05-28 01:15:41 / 10

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