The last miracle before death

Friday was Good Friday. My husband and I watched Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie, The Passion of the Christ. I wanted to pause to see a small reflection of what my Savior did to reconcile us back to relationship with God. The story of a love that cost Him everything, and yet was given so freely. I see the personal cost in that movie, and realize it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what was paid.

I was lost in my own thoughts, when my husbamd spoke up. He noted the last miracle Christ did before He died was for an enemy. I responded back,  “in reality every miracle was for an enemy.”  Every miracle Jesus had preformed was for a person who had not been reconciled back to Him at that point.

And behold, one of them that were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear. Matthew 26:51

When those with him saw what was happening, they said, “Master, shall we fight?” One of them took a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. Jesus said, “Let them be. Even in this.” Then, touching the servant’s ear, he healed him. Luke 22:49‭-‬51

It is a scene I have recounted; yet, a perspective in the last days of Christ I missed. I have thought about the thieves on the cross and the mocking soldiers. I have contemplated Peter’s denial and Judas’s betrayal. I have imagined the pain of the mother’s heart in seeing her Son die for her sins. I have most certainly thought of Jesus’s sacrifice and God’s heart for His children.

Jesus performed many miracles during His time on earth. Giving sight to the blind. Hearing to the deaf and mobility to the lame. He healed diseases and brought the dead back to life. Jesus cast out demons. Yet, most people who recieved miracles sought Him out for the healing. Or sometimes someone else sought out Jesus for the healing.

The last miracle that Jesus performed was not for someone seeking Him as Savior but someone seeking to destroy Him. He did not even ask Jesus for the healing. When the religious leaders and His enemies had demanded signs and wonders, Jesus did not comply. So why, when it came to the last few hours of His life, was it an enemy He reached out and healed?

miracleI have just been pondering that question.

Could it be so that we could trust Him in the pain we cause ourselves? This man would not have been injured had he not been with the party seeking to arrest Christ. He didn’t have to be taking part in this late night lynching.  He would not have had his ear cut off if he stayed home.

Too often I find my own actions cause a deeper pain than that others can inflict on me. Christ might have wanted me to have that reminder in the final hours of His life. Regardless of what I have done, I am never out of His healing reach.

Could it be so that when we follow others down the wrong path, we could trust Him in our hurts? Maybe the soldier would say, “I was just following orders. I didn’t know.”

Christ knew that people would often follow others farther down the wrong path than ever intended. Christ might have wanted to remind us that no matter how far we have went down the wrong path, He is there to bring complete healing. Regardless of who we have followed or where we have traveled, we are never out of the reach of His healing touch.

Or could it be, that Christ needed to bring healing to the hurt caused by His followers? The injury Jesus healed was caused by one of His closest disciples, Peter. Peter was not acting out of the love of Christ, but out of the reaction of his flesh.

Just then Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, pulled it from its sheath and struck the Chief Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. Malchus was the servant’s name.
John 18:10

Christ knew that there would be times His followers would react in a character other than that of a Christ imitator. Christ knew at times those closest to Him would cause pain to others. Maybe Christ wanted to show in His final hours, that His healing touch is available even when the hurt comes from the bad reactions of one of His followers.

Or maybe it was not for the soldier at all, but could it be that Christ healed the soldier as a reminder to His followers?  Christ had taught the disciples to love their enemies, to pray for those who persecuted them.  Maybe He wanted the last miracle before His death to be a reminder to them of the life He had called them to live.

I often need a reminder that I am called to walk in love, to those closest to me and to those who are my enemies.  Maybe the last miracle before death was to be a legacy that would play our minds when we wanted to react in our flesh instead of in the love of Christ.

I will never fully understand this side of Heaven why Christ would make His last miracle before death be to someone who was not seeking a miracle but was seeking to destroy Him.  What I discovered in my pondering is that there is nothing I can do, no circumstance where I might find myself, no hurt caused by a Christian to deep, or action done out of anger that Christ can not heal.

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