The Wounds of Christ: An Instrument of Healing in the Redeemer’s Hands

by | Apr 9, 2017 | Featured, The Gospel and the Christian Life

Time heals all wounds. But does it really? As time edges on will it completely erase our pain? Will we truly forget the trauma? I would propose that it really depends on how we use that time. If we are using time to our advantage, we’ll be seeking help, counsel, encouragement, care, and gracious accountability. If we are real with ourselves and admit we need time to heal, we’ll have to work at it. We’ll need to be vulnerable, process biblically, and seek out the grace of God; the One who heals the brokenhearted and is near the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). Doing these things won’t hide our wounds, but we will no longer find our identity in them, and our wounds will also no longer have the power to dominate our lives and thoughts. Time will not heal our wounds if we waste our time through denial or stay stuck in deep bitterness. This is actually enslaving and the complete opposite of healing for ourselves. Time can be a healing agent for us if we steward and manage our time well as we seek to heal. (What I’m specifically referring to here with the word “wounds” are the ways we have been hurt, subjected to trauma from others, and our experiences of suffering.)

Ultimately Our Comfort Comes From a Wounded Savior

Time can be a real source of comfort for us because it helps create some distance from the deep hurt and traumatic experiences we may have experienced in our lives. Every day we travel further and further away from that terrible moment or season. This can be a gift from God to us; a naturally designed way for us to at least physically move on. But ultimately our comfort comes from a wounded Savior. His wounds have also lingered with the passage of time. They are not hidden either, for He wears them on His hands for all eternity. He holds them out to us for comfort. Since He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5), He alone is qualified to be our comforter and the forerunner of healing for His people. Though He is victorious, He still carries His wounds.

The Wounds of Christ Define Christ and His People

His wounds in His death on the Cross define Him. In this way, they should define and help shape His people’s lives insofar as they represent God’s work in conforming them into the image of Christ. By His wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). These truths aren’t in any way meant to invalidate our pain and suffering. As writer Paul Maxwell says, “Some Christians have been trained to think that proper believers will not continue to experience traumatic symptoms for the rest of their lives because of Christ’s liberating work.”[i]

The Wounds of Christ Are Freeing

Our wounds are real. His wounds also must cover our wounds in healing grace so that we can be free from the bondage of bitterness and darkness. As Maxwell goes on to say:

On the other hand, hope and freedom are withheld by other well-meaning Christian counselors who insist on our “need to process” — the need to focus exclusively on our trauma, the need to speak at length about the pain, the need to obsess over it, the need to become preoccupied with our wounds — the notion that only in giving ourselves over to our trauma can we be free from it. One is cruel optimism; the other is an incurable diagnosis. Both are forms of false witness.[ii]

The wounds of Christ offer comfort and healing to us, and the death and redemption they represent free us from both forms of false witness. Finding comfort in the wounds of Christ will also help us be empathetic with others who need healing. As we share in Christ’s suffering (1 Peter 4:13) and death (Philippians 3:10) we are also sharing in it with countless others (Hebrews 12:1) who have gone before us and who walk with us now. Our wounds are like a rite of passage in the Christian life since they are part of following in Jesus’ footsteps. Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India in the twentieth century, wrote this poem:

Hast thou no scar?

No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?

I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,

I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,

Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?

Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.

Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent

By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:

Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?

Yet as the Master shall the servant be,

And pierced are the feet that follow Me;

But thine are whole. Can he have followed far

Who has no wound nor scar?

Final Thoughts

Our sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) who experienced pain and trauma for His people wants them to spread His comfort to those who are wounded. He comforts us so that we can comfort others. We are His scarred people bearing His mark of suffering. As we look to Him, we know He is with us and has gone before us, and will ever see us to the end.

[i] Paul Maxwell, Trauma Is A Life Sentence, January 5th, 2017, accessed April 5th, 2017.

[ii] Ibid.

Related Posts

The Meaning And Purpose Of Job

The Meaning And Purpose Of Job

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks me, “What is the story of Job?” What you’ll hear in this episode The Real Purpose of Job. Job: A Commentary on Human Suffering. Job Serves as a Critique of the Problem of Evil. Suffering Get People’s Attention....

An Unshakable Kingdom

An Unshakable Kingdom

Hebrews 12:28–29, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.” Lest there be any lingering doubts as to the superiority of the...

9 Principles for Navigating Anxiety and Depression

9 Principles for Navigating Anxiety and Depression

9 Principles What are the general principles to bear in mind as you begin to work with your teen through anxiety and depression? 1. Understanding Getting an understanding of these disorders is half the battle. Knowledge and understanding is 50 percent of your task. If...

What Remains After Life is Shaken

What Remains After Life is Shaken

Hebrews 12:26-27, “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been...

Disciplined as Sons

Disciplined as Sons

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave continues the Snapshots of Grace series, looking at Hebrews 12:4-13 and the purpose of fatherly discipline and correction, enduring discipline as sons, and an encouragement to grow in the grace of God. What you’ll hear in this...

Refuse Him Not

Refuse Him Not

Hebrews 12:25, “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.” Until the return of Christ, one of the realities that we must...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.