When the Bible tells us that Christ came to “redeem mankind” it offers a whole lot more than forgiveness. To simply forgive a broken man is like telling someone running a marathon, “It’s okay that you’ve broken your leg. I won’t hold that against you. Now finish the race.” That is cruel, to leave him disabled that way. No, there is much more to our redemption. The core of Christ’s mission is foretold in Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release … for the prisoners. (v. 1)
The Messiah will come, he says, to bind up and heal, to release and set free. What? Your heart. Christ comes to restore and release you, your soul, the true you. This is the central passage in the entire Bible about Jesus, the one he chooses to quote about him- self when he steps into the spotlight in Luke 4 and announces his arrival. So take him at his word—ask him in to heal all the bro- ken places within you and unite them into one whole and healed heart. Ask him to release you from all bondage and captivity, as he promised to do. As MacDonald prayed, “Gather my broken fragments to a whole … Let mine be a merry, all-receiving heart, but make it a whole, with light in every part.”
But you can’t do this at a distance; you can’t ask Christ to come into your wound while you remain far from it. You have to go there with him. Lord Jesus, I give my life to you—everything I am, everything I have become. I surrender myself to you utterly. Come and be my Lord. Be my healer. I give you my wounded heart. Come and meet me here. Enter my heart and soul, my wounds and brokenness, and bring your healing love to me in these very places.
And that’s the memo.
By John Eldredge in Wild at Heart