Hope for the sick

John 19:1-3 “Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and struck him with their hands.”

Do you believe what the Bible says about man having a “sin problem”?  It’s well expressed in the following verse “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  So, how big of a problem is this, really?  Some common responses of people who are confronted with the issue of sin, and especially their own sin, is “I’m just as good as the next guy,” “I’m a good person,” or some other expression to let everyone know that they aren’t all that bad.  If there is anything wrong in their way of living or character, they’d have us believe that it’s really relatively minor. 

Jesus said, “only the sick need a physician” (Mark 2:17). Here he was talking about spiritual sickness, which is just another term for sin.  His point was that most people don’t see themselves as spiritually sick, thus they don’t see that they have any need for the only Physician that can heal that sickness.  But let’s look a little closer at what the Bible says about the natural man.  Romans 3:10-18 sums things up in these words: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.    Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.  The venom of asps is under their lips.  Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery,and the way of peace they have not known.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  Yet, the popular theory we so often hear espoused in so many words is that man is basically good. 

To see the depth of the sin in the human heart in action, one need only look at the passage in John 19 above. Here, as men came face to face with the only One who was ever truly good, the One who in His sinless perfection loved us so much that He gave His life for us, is flogged, crowned with thorns, mocked, and struck with men’s hands.  Then, He is spit upon, has nails driven through His hands and feet, and is crucified.  To simply murder Christ wasn’t enough.  Every sadistic imagination was thrown at Him in the process. Here we see total rejection and opposition to everything that is good, and right, and pure.  The human heart is evil to its core. The Bible tells us this, and then demonstrates it repeatedly.  And we need only to read a history book or our local newspaper, or review the pattern of our own lives, to prove it again to ourselves. 

So, is there any remedy?  Is there any hope?  Listen again to the words of the Bible: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).  So, yes, there is hope, but it’s found only in the righteousness of Christ. “For our sake he (i.e., God the Father) made him (i.e., Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The Great Exchange: that’s what some have called this.  Have you experienced this exchange?  It’s yours for the asking, if you would but confess your sin, believe on Christ, and be saved.

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