Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 19, 2018
By Tripp Prince
But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2 (ESV)
Over the past year I have been reading The Chronicles of Narnia to my children as a part of our nighttime ritual. As young kids with limited attention spans, our progress has been slow but steady. We’re currently halfway through the third book in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and just last week we encountered what is, in my opinion, one of the most moving scenes in the entire series, the conversion of Eustace.
Eustace is a boy that seems to embody the very worst of childhood. He’s selfish, lazy, deceitful, and complains constantly. In the imagination of C.S. Lewis, these traits lead to the revealing on the outside of what Eustace was in the inner core of his being: a dragon. Yet remarkably, once Eustace becomes a dragon and comes to terms with his dragonish ways, something within him begins to change. Like anyone caught in his predicament, Eustace comes to fear that, in spite of the growing desire to change, he might end up stuck as a dragon forever!
This leads to the arrival of the lion Aslan, the Christ figure in this story, who invites Eustace to bathe in the cleansing and healing waters of a well, if only he can shed his skin before entering. Yet try as he might, he can never get deep enough to truly free himself from his dragonish ways. Only when Aslan intervenes does the freedom begin. Only when Aslan steps in does Eustace truly begin to experience the joy of conversion and the promise of life lived as God intended it.
This moving scene is a picture of conversion. It is meant to capture the cleansing from sin and death that we experience in the waters of baptism as we are united with Christ and filled with his life-giving spirit. The resurrected Lord Jesus goes to the root of our disease and speaks life, undressing us out of shame and sorrow and clothing us with righteousness and peace.
This is the hope of resurrection life lived in Jesus. This is the root of our belief that nothing can shake us or take from us the promises of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). And even when life feels chaotic and broken and impossible, we cling to the belief that, in Jesus, the new life of God’s Kingdom has begun in the world and in our lives.
It doesn’t mean that each day will be perfect, or that we won’t have setbacks. But it does mean that in Jesus we have an unshakable hope that God is working for our good and his glory, and that each day is filled with the potential to celebrate God’s healing work that has begun in the lives of each and every disciple. I think of Lewis’ closing comment on the conversion of Eustace, in which he reminds us, “It would be nice, and fairly nearly true, to say that from that time forth Eustace was a different boy.’ To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome. But most of those I shall not notice. The cure had begun.”
PrayerFather, thank you for the healing life you offer in Jesus and work into the deepest core of our being, healing us with your love and compassion. Amen.
ApplicationWhere do you see signs of God’s cure at work in your life that you can celebrate with gratitude and thanksgiving?
Related ReadingIsaiah 58:8; Luke 9:11; Acts 10:38
Post/Tweet todayJesus goes to the root of our sin and speaks life, undressing us out of shame and sorrow and clothing us with righteousness and peace. #WisdomHunters #thecure
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