Wednesday is for Prayer
Is it not overwhelming to contemplate that our God has worn a body? He knows our frame (Psalm 103:14). He knows the heartache of loss, the panting need of thirst, the pangs of hunger that an empty stomach send out. I have little doubt that he experienced the illnesses that his mother Mary’s genetic makeup passed on to the human nature that he assumed in her womb. [Did the Savior ever have the common cold? I think, probably, yes.] And yet, the Scripture declares, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Christ lived a sinless life. He satisfied all of the positive requirements of the Law. He perfectly kept every command–with a body, with flesh like ours. It is stunning to contemplate. And it is the only way that he could have been the perfect, spotless, atoning-lamb of sacrifice for sin. His blood, his death was the substitute that we needed so that God could be both “just and justifier” (Romans 3:16) of those who place their faith in Christ.
This week, a young man who came to Christ during my years at New Song Church, lost his battle with alcohol. Sixteen years ago, he gave his heart to Jesus. His growth in grace was episodic at best. Months of sobriety followed by months of stupor. Months of learning and growth punctuated by months of backward movement. Miracles surrounded him at many turns. There was the time he walked into a bar, determined to get drunk, only to come out ten minutes later without a drink and with three people and renewed hope.
Over the past two months, there was a new freshness to his faith. He wrote me emails that spoke of a new preciousness of the gospel to him. He made an insightful comment on one of the posts on the BLOG. A great man he met at New Song never gave up on him and was investing in his life. I remember the day I challenged the two of them to work together. It started rocky and got rockier, but his new discipler hung in, kept making contact, kept speaking truth to him, kept praying for him, kept loving him.
But Sunday morning my 16 year friendship ended when alcohol, and new medication, mixed with the great heat of the summer ended his life. Tomorrow will be a wake and a funeral. A grieving mother and three sisters will weep and remember and in the end there will only be one comfort–the Savior has worn a body. And he knows their sorrow and he died to atone for sin and rose again so that death could be swallowed up in the victory of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:53-57).
Pray for my friend’s surviving family members. And pray for your boldness to tell all whom you know of the Savior before it is too late.