THE WALK of life seems like a straight line — or is it a circle? We want to move forward. It’s rewarding to make progress. But even though the curve of life is sometimes gentle, we often return to relive our history.
Nobody wants to go around in circles without meaning. But if we trust, if we believe, then each experience — and even repeated failure — leaves a more profound footprint.
Going fast and far doesn’t always make us better. Sometimes we need to dig deeper instead. Then our stride is firm and steady.
How many times have you returned to an old challenge? How many times have you ended up back where you started?
We were all born of the grace of God. And by his grace he will call us home. As the Lord said, “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Even after the resurrection, Jesus walked again with the imprint of history upon his flesh. He continued to carry his wounds. He didn’t rise again unmarked. And he asks us to look upon his hands and feet and to explore his wounded side.
And when he shows us his wounds, he says, “Peace be with you.”
So we return to the wounds of Christ. When those cold, hard nails drove through his flesh, there was nothing but pain and anguish. The blood of the innocent Son of Man soaked the earth. And a bit of the cruelty in all of us was there that day, driving the nails into the hard wood of the cross.
Now risen, fully victorious, Jesus does not seek vengeance. Instead, he offers us his peace. Only the mercy of God can accomplish this. Not all minds will understand, and not every heart will accept this. But those that hunger and thirst for peace with God cannot come away the same.
All the truth of the universe, of world history, of our complex existence that is so hard to understand sometimes — all of it is consumed in the wounds of the Son of God. They remain as a sign that history shall not be forgotten — and that there is a promise for glorious things to come.
So we look upon his wounds again, now resurrected, smoothed over by the tenderness of his Father. And the peace that pours out from those sacred wounds lets us open our hearts and minds to the truth revealed in his Word.
The Lord intimately knows your hurt. He too felt pain and betrayal. He felt insult, torture, and torment. He too was a victim of power and circumstances out of control.
He loves you dearly, and he also lets you be free. And as part of our freedom we will mistakes. We fall into sin. We struggle. He knows it all. He knows your shame and your pain… and in exchange he promises you joy.
And the joy the Lord gives you is not a superficial gesture. It doesn’t deny your history. Instead, his joy bursts forth from your redemption. Your most painful hurt, your deepest shame — all consumed into his wounded side, his heart wide open for you.
And the result? You’re no longer walking in circles. Your journey has deeper meaning now.
You are restored, free from bondage. Your stride is firm and steady as you move forward in grace.
You are a child of God.
. . . . . . .
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see…Luke 24:38-39
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