Christ’s Compassion on the Cadaverous

After hearing an excellent sermon on Jesus yesterday morning from the pastor who ultimately brought my desire to study and explain the Scriptures to light, i decided it would be fitting to briefly discuss one of my favorite stories of Jesus. (In addition, i’ll be starting to exposit Mark on this blog in a few weeks. But since it’ll probably be a couple months before i get to this text, i figured it couldn’t hurt to share some from it now.)

Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed.”

Mark‬ ‭1:40-42‬ (emphasis added).

‭‭I put a picture of zombies from the Walking Dead at the top of this post, and that is because (on the surface) it is clear that zombies have a serious skin disease. In addition, the picture heading this post isn’t even as gross of a picture as i could have posted.

But here’s the point. Normally we think of zombies as vicious killers. I’m sure the photo above was from a scene where someone still living was being chased by a group of the undead.

What does Jesus do to this person who society saw as no better than a zombie?

He “reached out His hand and touched him.”

Imagine touching a zombie for a reason other than trying to get a better stabbing vantage point. Imagine touching a zombie because you love the person underneath. Imagine touching a zombie because you actually have the cure for its condition.

That was Jesus.

Now, imagine that you are the zombie. Imagine that you are vicious and mostly unthinking. Imagine that you haven’t felt a human beings touch in fifteen years. Imagine that in reality you are actually dead.

That was (is) you and me.

You see, it doesn’t take much of a logical jump to go from serious skin disease to zombies to the Walking Dead to people who are spiritually dead. Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” Dead. Rotten. Disgusting. Romans 3 talks about our feet having been swift to commit acts of violence. This was (is) us.

This was the leper in Mark 1 even more so than simply his external condition.

But what does Jesus do?

He “reached out His hand and touched him.”

This is the compassion of Christ.

The leper came to Him, acknowledging full well that if Jesus didn’t want anything to do with Him, that was His prerogative. “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

And seeing his humble faith–the faith you and i must also exhibit–Jesus said, “I am willing. Be made clean.”

We can’t come to Jesus thinking He owes us salvation. He doesn’t. We can’t come to Jesus thinking we are better than this leper. We aren’t. We are just as dead and filthy as he was before his encounter with Christ.

And because of this we must never treat unbelievers like the enemy. We’ve found the cure to the curse of walking death. It’s Jesus. Rather than blowing the heads off the undead we know, and rejoicing that they are headed for hell, we must be moved to compassion like Christ and preach the gospel and pray that Christ would be willing to make them clean too.

If you don’t yet know Jesus, cry out to Him today. He is ready and waiting to hear you and heal you from your spiritual death. It’s a greater problem than any physical or relational or monetary issue you may currently have.

He died on the cross to save you. He rose again to prove without a doubt that He is greater than death. Look to Him in faith. Believe in Jesus!

Soli Deo Gloria
Solus Christus

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