Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Everyone on earth has a body like the body of the one who was made from the dust of the earth. And everyone in heaven has a body like the body of the one who came from heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:45

The Garden of Eden must have been quite a place.

And indeed it was. We read in Genesis that it was a literal paradise filled with beautiful fruit trees, gardens, rivers, and animals. God created Adam to care for it, and later introduced Eve to complete the equation. There was no crime, violence, unemployment or any of the other realities of our modern existence. And they communed with God in a world without pain or sickness. Or even death.

Then…everything changed. Adam and Eve’s disobedience through eating from the garden’s forbidden tree led to their permanent eviction from Eden. And ever since, human existence has involved toil, conflict, illness, and mortality. It’s a price we’re literally paying to this day.

Just how far has Adam and Eve’s sin taken us from that place of perfect health? In 2009, the United States spent $2.5 trillion--or $8,086 per person—on health care. That’s about 18% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). And with the nation’s Baby Boomers entering their retirement years, our need for health care and related services will only grow.

It’s obvious that our nation—as well as the rest of the world—is in desperate need of healing. That’s why it’s a good thing that God sent us a Great Physician in the form of His own Son, Jesus Christ.

We read in the New Testament how Jesus—with only a touch or even a word—healed lepers, the blind and the paralyzed. He even returned a man and a young child from death: all incredible miracles that proved Jesus is indeed God among us. But if you think about it, these miracles were only temporary. All those whom Jesus healed or raised eventually died. Just as we all will one day.

But Jesus’ healing was much more than physical. It had (and still has) eternal, spiritual significance. In our 21st Century culture that worships vitality and outward appearances, Christ sees our real condition like an X-ray of our souls. Truth be told, every one of us hurts in one way or another through the wounds and fractures of daily life.

What’s the prescription for true healing? It’s our simple faith in Him.

Luke’s gospel records that one desperate woman—who had been plagued by bleeding for years—believed that her cure lay in touching Jesus’ garments. And she was right. Luke also tells us about a humble Roman centurion who sought Jesus’ healing for his deathly ill servant. Remarkably, this would-be enemy of Israel trusted the ability of Christ’s word alone.

When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”

Christ-followers aren’t promised freedom from physical illness and death. That wonderful prospect disappeared with Adam and Eve. But we do have the promise of perfect health and happiness once we reach our eternal home with the Father. And it all starts with believing in Jesus’ power, asking for His help and having faith to the end.

“Daughter, your faith has healed you,” Jesus told His patient. “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

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