Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Easter Sunday, some call it Resurrection Sunday, is the day on which Christianity hinges. Well, not actually the day, but rather the Lord, who rose from the dead on that day 2000 years ago.
Jesus had been betrayed, arrested, beaten, crucified, and buried on Friday. Early on Sunday morning, some women disciples went to the tomb only to discover he was no longer there!
One in particular, Mary of Magdala, met the resurrected Jesus. At first she mistook the Savior of the world for a gardener. When Jesus called her by name, she knew.
He sent her to tell the 12 main disciples. Mary of Magdala was the first evangelist in history.
Think on that for a moment. What we know of Mary the Magdalene is that Jesus cast seven demons out of her. She was not someone our modern churches might first think of when choosing a representative. However, Jesus did.
To be clear, despite some famous secularized books, movies, and nonsense guesses, Jesus had no girlfriend. Mary the Magdalene was one of thousands of people Jesus healed in his ministry. Many believed in him. Many walked with him on his travels. Many more did not.
Jesus lived a sinless life. How? He was God’s only birth-son. He was filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he became an embryo. In a mystery we cannot understand, Jesus was fully God and fully man.
When sinless Jesus died on the cross, he took on his body, mind, and spirit the sins of everyone who would ever live who would trust him as their Savior and spiritual king. He carried the cumulative guilt with which we pummel ourselves and others. He felt the deep darkness of our shame By that, he defeated the father of lies, the accuser.
Once we sincerely ask Jesus to be our Savior and ask forgiveness for our sin, the devil (yes, Satan is real), tries to heap all that back on us. As the chief of liars and a skilled accuser, if he can bury us under guilt and shame we will never reach the potential Jesus created in us.
When Jesus rose to life again, he wiped out our powerlessness against the devil’s strategies. He defeated death itself, and set us free to place our hope in eternal life.
No wonder Mary of Magdala wept when she saw him alive again. We can, if we will, drop the guilt and shame of our past and move forward as children of the King. This is not to say that a believer’s life will be easy.
The 12 disciples reacted to Mary’s report with doubt. They had to look for themselves to see if what she claimed was real. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe and yet do not see.”
You do not have to run and search for proof of anything. Faith is not sight. Jesus will reveal himself to you if you choose to take him at his word.
Easter is the day Jesus won all our battles.
Today’s Helpful Word
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.