Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage For Meditation: Isaiah 53:1-12
Key Verse: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
It’s hard to describe the feeling of knowing that you have caused a lifelong scar. A friendly football game had gone wrong when I tagged my friend Godfrey too hard and sent him crashing into the pavement. I had apologized. I had felt bad about the wound on his arm. But now it was almost five years later, and we were classmates at the seminary at Andrews.
One day I caught a glimpse of his arm. It was still there—the only noticeable scar on that arm. My repentance was far deeper now than it had been five years before, as I realized the lasting effect of my actions on one of my best friends. However, all of us are guilty of inflicting upon Someone a much deeper, more lasting scar than the one I gave my friend.
The Bible tells us, “I will pour out on the house of David [that is, the leadership] and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem [that is, God’s people in general], the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10, NASB).
If we want a deeper filling of the Holy Spirit, we need to learn to grieve for those scars!
In Acts 3:19 we read, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (NASB).
Of course, it is only the Holy Spirit that convicts me and leads me to grieve for having pierced Jesus. Also, the more I look at the cross and recognize that it was my sins that put Jesus there, the more I begin to hate sin. The more I want to repent.
In fact, the little sins in my life that I thought were no big deal in the past suddenly seem completely hideous. The things I used to watch on the news, the movies and TV that I used to enjoy, the frivolous YouTube videos that I used to waste time on and laugh over—all now begin to lose their attraction as I realize that they glorify the sins that Jesus died for. Ouch! I’m tired of hurting my best Friend Jesus! I want nothing to do with sin anymore.
It’s time we look at the cross and recognize the horrific way our sins have forever wounded our Savior.
Inspiration tells us, “It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross. . . . Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross” (Gospel Workers, p. 246).
I can only imagine how our repentance will deepen throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity as we continue to behold the scars Jesus bears due to our sin. Thankfully, we are told, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4, NASB).
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Father in heaven, please forgive me for taking sin so lightly. Forgive me for forgetting what my sin has cost You. Help us to truly mourn for having pierced You. Please give us a deeper repentance for sin, one that leads us to make lasting changes and completely turn away from the sins that have wounded You. Please change our hearts and give us a more earnest desire to sit at Your feet, contemplating Your incredible love, so that we can be more fully filled with the blessing of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for wanting to give us this greatest gift! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Pastor Zac Page
(To read another convicting devotional by Pastor Zac, titled “Agonizing for Souls” click here.)
Additional Inspiration: “I have been shown that many are in the greatest danger of failing to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. . . . There is with nearly all a neglect of self-examination. . . . You will receive more strength by spending one hour each day in meditation, and mourning over your failings and heart-corruptions, and pleading for God’s pardoning love, and the assurance of sins forgiven, than you would by spending many hours and days . . . making yourself acquainted with every objection to our faith, and the most powerful evidences in favor of our faith” (Pastoral Ministry, pp. 24-26).