Monday, July 2, 2012


My grandmother has very thin skin. The slightest bump or scratch will bring up huge black and blue bruises that look as though she has taken a pounding. Often times she doesn't even know what happened but finds that once again something evidently did happen. Sometimes it looks as though she's been trying to be a stunt double for Jason Borne. Ok, maybe not that bad. But the point is her tender skin, along with the glorious wisdom of 83 years of life, leaves her to be cautious and selective as to what activities she might engage in.

The Lord brought her to mind this morning as he showed me Luke 4:18:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.

This is one of my most favorite passages of scripture. The context is Jesus just coming out from his 40 day fast in the wilderness and then beginning his ministry. He enters the temple, stands to read, finds this passage from Isaiah and as the words come from his lips, the entire room is captivated by the grace in his voice and the anointing in his message.

That last line jumped of the page. I looked up the word oppressed and came to find that is also means bruised. He came to set free those who are bruised. My heart and emotions became flooded with his grace.

As I thought about what it means to be bruised and what causes bruises, this line became more and more precious. It's no secret that life bumps our souls around. Sometimes we have attempted a Jason Borne stunt that left us a mess, but other times we don't even know what it is that injured us. A difficulty. A worry. A diagnosis. A loss. An incident that leaves a mark and says there is something broken here. Too often before we know it we find ourselves covered in blemishes that eventually lead us through life guarded and unable to do all we want to.  But this is why he came! To set those of us that are wounded and live life reservedly free! Not free from pain; he has promised there will be troubles. But to be free from being so quick to bleed for ourselves. Free to abandon ourselves to his care and to bleed for others. This is the exact example he showed us. With no regard to himself he lived a life offered for others and hemorrhaged on our behalf. 

A few lines later in the passage that Jesus read from in Isaiah he tells us the reason he came: That they may be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified (Isaiah 61:3).

You see, freedom is the place where we no longer take precaution for our own soul and emotions. We are such poor gate keepers at that anyway. Freedom is being convinced of the Father's great love for us. Convinced past a head knowledge, but graciously overwhelmed and compelled to action. That is what it looks like to be an oak tree planted by the Lord. Solid and firm in him with branches that bring shade, relief and shelter. Leaves that exchange toxins for life and bring color and beauty. Righteousness planted by him and for him.

He was sent to set at liberty those who are oppressed.

So, after you pull back all the layers, what is at the heart of what's squeezing you? What would bring you freedom?

He came for that.

Precious Jesus you became sin that I might become righteous. Unimaginable! Whatever safety and security I have falsely accrued I count as loss that I may gain you. May I be found in you; sharing in your sufferings and in death to self. Help me to see the freedom you are before me. I believe Lord, help me in my unbelief. You are so good! 

No comments:

Leelou Blogs
Blog Widget by LinkWithin