Summary: In this message we will see that Christ’s passion for the hurting was natural, was needed and was near. (The Passion Of The Christ - pt 2)

His Passion For The Hurting

The Passion Of The Christ – part 2

In a chapter in his book, Just Like Jesus, called “The Touch of God,” Max Lucado writes; the story behind a man that we meet in the Gospels.

For 5 years no one touched me. No one. Not one person. Not my wife. Not my child. Not my friends. No one touched me. They saw me. They spoke to me…But I didn’t feel their touch. There was no touch. Not once. No one touched me.

What is common to you, I coveted. Handshakes. Warm embraces. A tap on the shoulder to get my attention. A kiss on the lips to steal a heart. Such moments were taken away from my world. No one touched me. No one bumped into me. What I would have given to be bumped into, to be caught in a crowd, for my shoulder to brush against another’s. But for 5 years it has not happened. How could it? I was not allowed on the streets. Even the rabbis kept their distance from me. I was not permitted in my synagogue. Not even welcome in my own house.

I was untouchable. I was a leper… The priest didn’t touch me. He looked at my hand now wrapped in a rag. He looked at my face, now shadowed in sorrow. I’ve never faulted him for what he said. He was only doing as he was instructed. He covered his mouth and extended his hand, palm forward. “You are unclean” he told me. With one pronouncement I lost my family, my farm, my future, my friends…

Oh, how I repulsed those who saw me. 5 years of leprosy had left my hands gnarled. Tips of my fingers were missing as were portions of an ear and my nose. At the sight of me, fathers grabbed their children. Mothers covered their faces. Children pointed and stared…

Some think I sinned. Some think my parents sinned. I don’t know. All I know is that I grew tried of it all: sleeping in the colony, smelling the stench. I grew so tired of the…bell I as required to wear around my neck to warn people of my presence. As if I needed it. One glance and the announcement began, “Unclean! Unclean! Unclean!

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to be a leper. Imagine for a moment the thought of never being touched again for the rest of your life -- never to feel the hug of a little child, never to feel a friend reach out for your hand, never to have a parent put an arm around your shoulder, never again to know the embrace of your spouse.

YOU SEE - Leprosy was much more than just a physical loss. There was also a moral stigma to it. It was widely believed to involve the curse of God. When people would get other diseases, if they were cured, they were spoken of as healed. A leper had to be cleansed. Do you see? Lepers were not just sick. They were unclean. They were defiled.

This morning is week 2 in our sermon series The Passion Of The Christ. As I said last week the cross, those final 12 hours of His earthly life are the pinnacle, the highpoint, are the culmination of the passion of the Christ… AGAIN - the premise behind this series is that Christ was the most passionate person who ever walked the face of the earth. AND – that His passion did not begin nor end on the cross…

Last week… we about how Christ is passionate for you… We talked about how the focus of his passion is being with you. UNDERSTAND – everything that Christ did ; putting on flesh, to washing dirty feet – to hanging on a cross was just to be with you. AND – the fuel for this passion is his love for you… YES – God is hooked, it’s too late now He is toast, because he is madly in love with you and His love caused him to do, to endure some crazy things…

This morning our message is called, His Passion For The Hurting…

YOU KNOW – there is an awful lot of hurt out in the world today. On Wednesday I picked up the Atlanta Journal Constitution. AND – as I flipped through the pages, I saw a lot of hurt…

In the Metro section;

I saw a picture of 2 ladies who have been fired from their jobs and charged with stealing

I read about a 26 year lady who was assaulted

I saw another picture of a guy who was sentenced to 35 years in prison

And in the Obituaries (I read of people losing their husbands, sons, daughters, wives, parents & grandparents)

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Darryl Klassen

commented on Mar 8, 2012

I can appreciate the illustration on savory/unsavory characters to a point. However, there seems to be a false judgment on the church that it is full of respectable people. Isn''t it rather that those who were once unsavory have now become respectable because of the sanctification process of Christ in their lives? Surely we want the down and outers to come to church, but if they feel uncomfortable because everyone is "nice and clean" this is just a picture of what they too will become when they find Christ. Just some thoughts.

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