... by His wounds, we are healed
Recently, we visited Brasstown Bald which is the highest point in the state of Georgia and is part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We hiked up the steep trail to the summit of Brasstown Bald where we had a view of four states - Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The panoramic view was spectacular!
At the top, there was a visitor center and a theater showing a documentary film regarding the history of Brasstown Bald. Thankfully, we were able to sit and rest after our hike and watch the 15-minute movie. In the middle of the film, the narrator made an odd comment. He described the red and white oak trees growing on the mountain as “grotesquely beautiful.” Then there was a picture showing the thick branches and vines gnarled together in a strange formation and, indeed, the term “grotesquely beautiful” was appropriate.
As we hiked down the mountain, I thought about that strange comment: grotesquely beautiful. How could those two words go together? Then, I envisioned another grotesquely beautiful image - Jesus the Christ. According to Isaiah 52:14, Jesus was so badly beaten that he was unrecognizable: “his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness….” He was spit upon, struck on the head, scourged and delivered to be crucified (Matthew 27:26, 30, NKJ).
Trying to envision that is extremely difficult!! Have you seen pictures of what people think Jesus looked like? Most likely, those pictures were of pain-free men who were enhanced with theater make up and definitely not as grotesque as what Jesus really looked like.
Jesus was perfect, He did not deserve to be beaten and crucified. When we think of Jesus dying on the cross, we should ask ourselves - Why? Why would a perfect and sinless man be willing to be beaten? Willing to be Crucified? Willing to be separated from His Father while He carried my sins? Your sins? Why? Because of His intense love for us and His desire for each of us to have eternal life with Him and with His Father God!
Jesus was and is the only one who can bridge the gap between a person to a Holy and perfect God. “…He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV).
Not too long ago, we celebrated Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter Sunday. That day when Jesus rose from the grave. Can I get a Hallelujah??!!?? We are only able to celebrate His miraculous resurrection because He endured the cross on Good Friday; the day when He was grotesquely beautiful for you and for me!
Weekly Memory Verse
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.