March 17, 2017



Broken bones will mend if properly set.
Broken promises can be renegotiated. Broken lives can be repaired in the office of the Great Physician; we see this all the time.

Broken hearts are harder to reach than broken bones.
What splint or caste is there to bind up the brokenhearted? People whose hearts have been betrayed, may never trust another negotiator. Wounded hearts may never press through the crowds to touch the hem of His garment.

The Wounded Healer
The story we tell the world is that of the wounded Healer. The One with His own broken heart who is able to bind up the broken hearts that come to Him.

In these weeks we contemplate the brokenhearted Jesus:

  • abandoned by most of His family,
  • forcefully taken to the brow of a hill in His hometown only to disarm the crowd simply by walking through them,
  • assaulted by the religious establishment,
  • weeping over Jerusalem,
  • receiving the kiss of His betrayer, and
  • hearing the footsteps of His followers fleeing from the Garden.

The taunts and blows of the soldiers bruised His mind and body, but His great heart was not broken by these injuries. Neither the whip nor the nails could wound His heart; they could only pierce the body His Father had provided Him.

His heart kept on beating.
Pain enough, these wounds, but His strong heart did not break—it had work to do. His precious blood must be pumped through these wounds and spill to the earth—a crimson stream of blood. The whole world would need this redeeming flow. His life must be poured out for all who will believe in the ages to come, so His heart kept on beating.

When the full price was paid, with His face ashen and drained of color, Jesus lifted His eyes to the Father. He had taken the full measure of wickedness into a sinless heart. It was done. “It is finished.” He was barely able to pronounce the completion of his task.

In a way that we cannot understand, His Father could not look anymore upon Him. For this Abraham and Isaac there would be no angel to block the thrust of the knife.

The heart of Jesus broke and He released His spirit to God, quoting a psalm He had learned as a child.

In that moment of brokenness all wounds were healed.
Until we are made like Him when we see Him as He is, we have the power to endure broken bones, promises, and lives. The Wounded Healer is our Physician. Jesus is the One who is anointed to preach this good news—He will bind up the broken hearted.

Psalm 69 NIV
Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. … You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you. Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. … I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs. The poor will see and be glad — you who seek God, may your hearts live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.
Jeremiah 8:22 NIV
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?
Isaiah 61:1 KJV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Matthew27:46 KJV
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
John 19:30 NIV
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Luke 23:46
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Lord Jesus, my heart has been broken, but never like Yours was broken. I have felt Your warm hands holding my heart at those times, shielding me from further injury, sustaining me with Your strength. I thought I would die, but You kept me alive. You let my tears flow just as your tears did at the tomb of Lazarus and on that hill overlooking Jerusalem. When my tears stopped, Your healing hands cradled my broken heart in love. You warmed my wounded heart with the Balm of Gilead and the healing began. In this life some wounds never completely heal. They leave behind scar tissue to remind us of Your touch then, now, and someday, when we see You as You are, the touch that will finish the work. Amen

I Must Tell Jesus
Words and Music: Elisha A. Hoffman

1. I must tell Jesus all of my trials; I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me; He ever loves and cares for His own.

I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

2. I must tell Jesus all of my troubles; He is a kind, compassionate friend;
If I but ask Him, He will deliver, Make of my troubles quickly an end.


3. Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior, One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus; He all my cares and sorrows will share.


4. O how the world to evil allures me! O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me Over the world the vict’ry to win


Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved