Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | February 13, 2023

Defined By Scars

“But He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; The punishment for our peace was laid upon Him, And by His wounds we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

There’s a Christian pop song that was really popular a few years ago—it’s one with a powerful Biblical message and a beautiful melody, the kind you can play on repeat for hours. The song is Scars by I Am They (after you read this, take a listen here). I’m not going to ruin the musical story for you, because, like a great movie, there’s a tear-provoking lyrical twist.

I actually haven’t heard the song in a while but was reminded of it by a simple turn of phrase used by my pastor in a sermon I recently heard. And the whole concept struck my spirit in a fresh way, washing me over once again with the amazing grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Friend, this world is hard on us. Although we were created in the image of God, originally meant to live with Him in perfection, walking with Him in holy purity, that all changed real fast when the father of lies crept onto the scene. After sin entered the world, we were not only separated from our relationship with God, but everything (us included) started falling apart. Every one of us is born into sin, missing the mark of righteousness and falling short of the life intended for us in the Garden. And in this lifetime of selfish, flesh-satisfying decisions, we earn scars. Sometimes they’re physical, large or small and at various stages of healing, but they can be easily seen by others. Often, however, our scars are internal, invisible to casual onlookers. These unseen scars can be significantly more devastating than the visible ones. They may have come to be by our own choices—trying to satisfy that God-shaped hole in our soul in various ultimately destructive ways. And there are the deep, life-altering scars inflicted on us by others through no fault of our own.

The worst part is that we tend to define ourselves by these scars—they can easily become who we are, influencing our daily thinking, emotions, and behavior. Some people boast about their scars, whether it’s to gain sympathy or just to give credence to the anger and bitterness through which they see life.

Internal or external, our scars are born in pain. But our lives do not have to be defined by that pain or by the life we lived that may have caused those inflictions.

Jesus, fully God and fully Man, lived the perfect, holy life we could not live. And through His death on the cross made a way of reconciliation with God—exchanging His righteousness for our unrighteousness. The justice God required of us was paid in full…and through His resurrection, He was victorious over sin and death!

Friend, to this day and for eternity, Jesus Christ bears the scars of this Beautiful Exchange. And by His wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). When we accept this gift of mercy (not getting what we do deserve) and grace (getting what we don’t deserve), we are made new! We are washed as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18), becoming a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our sins are forgiven and cast into the sea of forgetfulness (Micah 7:19). And, although our physical scars may remain until our bodies are glorified, the internal scars no longer have to define us. Once you surrender to Jesus as Lord, it is by HIS scars you are defined. What does that mean—how does your self-definition change exactly? You become righteous, holy, royalty, a fellow heir with Christ, God’s possession, a child of God, and a friend of Jesus. And there is “now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). When you accept the power found in the scars of Jesus, your scars become powerless over you.

So, by whose scars will you define yourself? If you’re tired of the labels you’ve put on yourself because of where you’ve been or what you’ve done, give them over to Jesus…accept His scars and be free in Him.

“Jesus, thank You for Your scars. Scars that forever maimed You and forever healed me.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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