Psalm 80, 2 Chronicles 23
What makes Christ such an attractive option for the world is not His teachings, His supernatural abilities, or His limitless knowledge. What draws so many believers to the creed is His great love, His ability to take our broken hearts and make them new.
Now, I could tell my wife I love her and give her a big hug, and that’d effectively communicate my love and make her feel pretty good. Every human on earth is capable of expressing love to some extent.
But what Christ offers to us is unique. It goes beyond the touchy-feely, superficial version of love that we attempt at. Through our own devices, we can bring a temporal affection to the table, and it might have a limited effect, but it is only Jesus Christ that can fully restore broken hearts, and not ourselves, even at our best.
If you’re familiar with role-playing video games, you know that the best thing you can do when your party is wounded is to visit an inn and take a snooze. In a matter of seconds, your characters miraculously awake at full strength. It’s magic, and it’s completely ridiculous. But when your characters are bloody and desperate for restoration, it’s a welcome relief, regardless of the solution’s veracity.
But, in a spiritual context, even though this very option is available in Christ Jesus, I see a lot of Christians staggering around, bruised from the onslaught of their journey, and afflicted by their sins, refusing to visit the stronghold of the Lord and avoiding humbling themselves before Him. They would rather continue in their injured state, concealing their wounds to appear strong and “together” before others, but this is the opposite of where the Lord would like them.
In a period of great corruption, an heir to the throne is born. The last two kings had been assassinated, and a relative takes the newborn out of the king’s area to protect him from a similar fate. The present queen is looking to wipe out the royal family to preserve her place, but the priest establishes a decree to have anyone who opposes the future king to be killed. He summons a huge standing army to surround the palace, pooling all of his resources, protecting the future heir from any opposition.
In the psalm, a man is figuratively on his knees before the Lord, pleading with Him to restore Israel and vanquish corruption:
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!
In both examples, we see pride dismissed, and all efforts directed toward restoration. Broken and completely worn out, the psalmist sees the promises of the Lord and draws upon His ability to repair the broken relationship with Israel. The priest, in his own situation, desperately employs the Levites to guard the kingdom and preserve God’s people at any cost.
We should never be too proud to come before the Lord in this way, and when danger is at the door, we should do whatever it takes to prioritize the righteousness of God. Is it not refreshing to know that, if we call on His name, He will see us restored? He desires that for us. God wants to take the broken and make it new, not unlike how a classic car buff sees the old jalopy and brings it back to life. This can only be done through Jesus Christ, the true vine, who, when we’re in a spiritually deplorable state, can instantly give us rest and put us together again.