I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Do we have any idea what it is to be crucified with Christ? Do we really comprehend a hint of what it is to be betrayed by beloved ones and handed over to be done away with? Do we know the strength expressed in choosing weakness, in a lion choosing to go as a lamb to the slaughter? Anything we have experienced in this life, from the most trivial to the most egregious is but a drop in the bucket compared to the endless ocean of suffering our Jesus experienced on our behalf.
Have you met anyone of whom you can say they suffered well? Likely so. But in reality, many of those who have suffered well, have done so largely unnoticed. Jesus silently accepted the judgments, accusations, insults, and even beatings of those whom he came to save because of the joy set before him.
And what was that joy? You. Me. “An inheritance of nations.” He took those wounds that are visible even now, and he showed them to his friends, not as proofs of how evil those who pierced him were, but proofs of how dearly he loved them.
Lord, may I wear my own wounds with the humility and grace of my Jesus, who doesn’t shame me with those scars, as he very well could do with all justice and integrity, but rather holds them out to say, “Look, dear one, see how much I love you. Let me heal you with these wounds…” Lord, may I grow to accept and embrace that you may heal me, and perhaps even others, through the wounds you allow to mark my life.