by Jennifer Duncan
When my sons were four years old, they were wrestling one evening in the family room. Things hadn’t gotten ugly yet, so I was letting this go on, while I finished getting supper ready. The tussle abruptly ended, though, when Jay landed against the sharp edge of the fireplace hearth, with the brick corner hitting him squarely between the eyes! Like any head wound…it bled like crazy, and when I first saw his injury, I was just hopeful that he still had both of his eyes. He did…but after some sopping and pressure, I knew this was going to require stitches…and our first trip to the emergency room.
I learned a lot about wounds and stitches during the long night that followed. I learned that facial injuries are best treated by a plastic surgeon, and that involves a trip to Springfield. I also learned that, after the initial bleeding is stopped, it’s possible to wait several hours for the actual stitches….which was good, since that’s what making necessary arrangements and a trip to Springfield would require.
The plastic surgeon’s manner with Jay was excellent. When he got ready to administer the necessary shot of local anesthetic, he said this, “Now, Jay, I’m going to tell you the truth about every part of this, and so I need to tell you that this next part is going to hurt. It will feel like a bee sting.” And it did. It hurt!
Next, though, came the actual stitching, and the doctor said, “I told you that last part would hurt, and it did. But now I’m telling you that, because of the ‘bee sting,’ this next part will not hurt. You won’t feel this at all, but it will make the healing happen.” And it did. Jay’s head healed nicely and barely shows a scar today.
Much later, I was reading in the Gospel of John, chapter 15-16, and I thought about Jay and his experience with that “healing sting.” In that chapter, Jesus is warning His disciples that He is going away from the earthly relationship they have enjoyed. Jesus tells them the unvarnished truth…that He will suffer and die a terrible death. He tells them that they will feel that “sting” of losing Him in death, and it will hurt. And it did.
But Jesus also told them this truth: “Righteousness is available because I go to the Father…” (John 16:10). The sting of death was the very thing that would bring healing to this sin-wounded world. His death would pay the price for our sin, and reconnect us to sweet fellowship with the Father, if we have faith. His resurrection, reported by eyewitnesses in the Bible, validated all of His claims and brought joy to those who believed. Healing victory was won!
That’s what we celebrate during this Easter season. Jesus endured the sting of death, to bring the joy of salvation…so that ultimately, the hurting can stop, as we look forward to a heavenly home with Him. Because Jesus told us the truth about the worst thing that could possibly happen, we can believe His other promises. We can know that because we trust Him, He will work all things for our good and His glory.
“He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace, was upon Him. And by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:6
Jennifer is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is mom to two grown (twin) sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four granddaughters. Her late husband, John, pastored two churches in Barry County, Missouri, and one in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Jennifer serves in teaching, music and lay counseling through her church, Arnhart Baptist Church, Purdy, Missouri. She also enjoys leading retreats and Bible studies for women.