“And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."-Luke 5:30-32
“Thus, lest in the unmeasured abundance of our riches we go wild; lest, puffed up with honors, we become proud; lest, swollen with other good things-either of the soul or of the body, or of fortune-we grow haughty, the Lord himself, according as he sees it expedient, confronts us and subjects and restrains our unrestrained flesh with the remedy of the cross. And this he does in various ways in accordance with what is healthful for each man.”
The cross is a hard pill to swallow. Sometimes accepting and applying a new God-sent cross feels more like a new malady rather than a remedy. God brings vitality, health, and wholeness into our lives “with the remedy of the cross.” Some remedies hurt as they heal. And the hurting serves to help the healing. However, as wise and attentive patients we play a role in increasing or decreasing the remedial level of pain. The cross will crush, twist, tear and rack us exponentially more if we don’t honestly believe and confess that we are diseased beyond measure. (It is the nature of the sin disease to think otherwise.) The cross soothes those who are pained by their prideful and haughty “unrestrained flesh.” The cross aggravates those who are pleased with their riches, honors, and other good things.
Will you accept God’s diagnosis regarding your disease? Pretending like you are not diseased will increase, not decrease, the healing pain found in your God-prescribed cross. I’m diseased. You are diseased. We can find support and comfort from one another. Let’s encourage each other while we experience the remedial nature of the cross together in God’s treatment center, the church. (Justin)