Touching The Untouchables

There has been much talk over this year about being careful who we touch, about social distancing and ‘bubbles’. We are told, ‘don’t kiss your granny, make sure you are wearing your mask or other Personal Protective Equipment’. We have been encouraged, even commanded, to ‘self-isolate, to quarantine, to keep your distance, to separate yourself from others’. Because of these rules, thousands of people have suffered over these past 12 months, some experiencing extremely distressing situations. We heard the other day of someone who, after a doctor’s appointment said, ‘That is the first person who has touched me for a year!’  Wow!  But there are probably thousands of people who could say something similar.

As a society during this pandemic, the extraordinary and profound benefit of physical touch, for people of all ages, young and old, able or disabled, probably previously misunderstood and underestimated, has been underlined and emphasised and long-term problems have been exposed which may take years to repair and heal.

The Bible often reveals to us that God’s only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He was walking here on earth among the lepers and other outcasts of society, “… reached out His hand and touched them…” His actions stirred up the anger and hatred of His enemies, the religious leaders, who accused Him of ‘touching the untouchables’, of ‘sitting and eating with despised tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners’.

Can you imagine the hope, joy and acceptance that those people receiving the touch of the Lord Jesus would have known? Maybe it’s not unlike receiving a hug from those we love as the lockdown is relaxed!

But that is the very reason why Jesus came into this world.

“He said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”

There is a sense in which each one of us is living in an untouchable bubble of our sin, selfishness, pride and self-righteousness. Just like the religious leaders amongst whom Jesus walked, millions of people today believe that they are ok, they are good enough for heaven, they are righteous in their own eyes and need no help. And like those leaders, they believe that their ‘little sins’ should be forgiven and exonerated, but that other people deserve full punishment for their misdemeanours. The Bible tells us:

“Your sin (the sin of every single one of us) has separated you from God”

… we therefore live in a broken and troubled world … and there is nothing we can do about it

As we move towards Easter, it is wonderful to remind ourselves that God did not create us to live in our selfish, sinful bubbles, isolated and separated from Him. But the amazing truth is that God’s perfect, sinless Son, Who lived in peaceful harmony with the Father from all eternity, came into this world, identified with sinful men and women, and although innocent, died a criminal’s death on a Roman gibbet.

God loves us and gave His Son Jesus to die in our place

“He Who had no sin, became sin for us”

The Lord Jesus, was separated from His Father, and gave up His life,

so that we might be forgiven … our sin can be removed …

so we can be reconciled to God and know Him as our loving heavenly Father

Because of our Lord Jesus, ‘social distancing’ between us and God and the ‘lockdown restrictions’ imposed upon us by our sin, have been removed for all who believe in Him and honestly come to Him.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you”

“Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms”

            Do you know the life-giving touch of the living God on your life … day by day?    

 

Ron Brickman