Monday, April 6, 2015

Game Changer

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?”

He said, “What has happened?”

They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.”

Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.

Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?”

They didn’t waste a minute. They were up and on their way back to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and their friends gathered together, talking away: “It’s really happened! The Master has been raised up—Simon saw him!”

Then the two went over everything that happened on the road and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.

While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death. He continued with them, “Don’t be upset, and don’t let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. They still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true.

He asked, “Do you have any food here?” They gave him a piece of leftover fish they had cooked. He took it and ate it right before their eyes.
~ Luke 24:13-43, MSG ~

Finding a treatment or even a cure for chronic illnesses, rare diseases, or disabilities is the hope of so many families.  With our daughter's rare allergies, there is no such hope because there will likely never be an allergy test for the unusual things that cause her to have severe reactions.  However, in the hemophilia community, people like our son hold out much anticipation with longer-lasting clotting factors coming to market and gene therapy cures being researched.

Can you imagine a cure being found for your child?  Now THAT would be a game changer! It would alter how you approach treatment, how you look at the future, your financial picture, and maybe even how others treat you.  I would even dare to say that it might transform your identity, individually as a caregiver, and in concert as a family.

When people look at our children differently because of their diagnoses, we are quick to point out that EVERYONE in this world has some sort of disability, whether it be of the body, mind or soul.  This is solid truth.  No human is without some sort of brokenness.  The perfect world God created became broken when sin entered it.  Sin became our default when one man, Adam, flung wide the gates through disobedience.  It is as if we were inherited this genetic mutation through all earthly generations the moment the original man made that devastating choice.

But what if that genetic mutation could be cured?  IT HAS BEEN!  And that IS the game changer, whether we find cures for bodily afflictions this side of heaven or not!

In Romans 5:12-17 (NLT) we learn:
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul implies that God not only cures and restores us to our intended state, but gives us even MORE than we could hope for.

In light of this incredible news of Easter, we should live like a people whose cure has been found, because it has!  Our downcast faces should be renewed with HOPE.  We should be filled with that same eagerness to share our redemption story as those two disciples who met the Risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus. 

We live in a dark world, hungry for good news.  Our children's diagnoses give parents like us a unique platform to push back that darkness with our story of The Cure, the ONLY Cure for everything that besets us.

PRAY:  Jesus, thank You for stepping into our broken reality and curing our woundedness.  Strengthen and remind us to share our HOPE with everyone around us.

~ Barb Dittrich

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