Jesus, the Crusher of Crutches
by marcella franseen
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Who is this baby born at Christmas? Iíve heard it said Jesus is merely a crutch for the weak-minded and ignorant, but I would argue Jesus was born to be the Crusher of Crutches.
It is the world, in fact, who manufacturers crutches: the crutch of drugs and alcohol for the hurting, the crutch of sex for the lonely, the crutch of fame and fortune for the insecure, the crutch of knowledge for the fearful, the crutch of power for the weak, the crutch of greed for the anxious, and so on.
Humanity is a broken, battered mess. We have a deep need, a sin nature, that requires a remedy and the world is powerless to offer us anything more than mere crutches.
There is no ability in this realm to heal or set right, therefore, we are each left in our weak, broken, sinful state hobbling around on crutches that can only offer us a greater dependence, really bondage, to the very things we attempt to use to acquire independence (John 8:34). Yet, we yearn for freedom, for a remedy.
This is the sad, hopeless condition of us all (Romans 3:23). And it is bleak. Our broken, sinful state is terminal (Romans 6:23a).
What we need is a Savior, someone who can set right our brokenness, who can mend our gaping wounds, who can remedy our sin-ridden souls. But where can we find such a one?
Not in this realm. The cure for sinful humanity cannot come from sinful humanity. Sin cannot defeat sin. Disease cannot defeat disease. Brokenness cannot defeat brokenness.
It isnít enough that we understand our original design: we were created by God in His image for communion with Him (Genesis 1:26). And it isnít enough we understand what went wrong: sin entered the world and our hearts through the disobedience of our father, Adam, forever separating us from the God we were created for (Romans 5:12).
We cannot work our way back. We cannot fix ourselves. Our sin nature lies as an impassable barrier between who we are and who we were created to be. It has infiltrated every part of us, even the good we attempt (Isaiah 64:6).
Our hope is in someone outside our sin, brokenness, and need, and, yet, someone who understands us, how we were originally designed, and what went wrong. We need our Creator. We need God to come to us.
But, more than that. We need God to do the unthinkable, to enter into our humanity, our weakness, and our suffering. To live in our sinful realm, but without sin. To walk this earthly broken life, but without crutches.
It will require Him to take on our terminal sentence. To lay His human body and His perfect nature down on a cross next to our weak, sinful, broken one and make an exchange: our sin for His righteousness, our need for His sufficiency, our brokenness for His wholeness, our shame for His glory, our weakness for His strength, and our death for His life.
Having done all this, He must then defeat death itself bursting through the confines of the grave to rise again; guaranteeing one day those in Him will also rise again (Romans 4:23-25).
This is what had to be done for us and so this is what was done.
"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him," 1 John 4:9.
No, Jesus is not a crutch. On the contrary, He is the only one to whom we lay down our crutches, because in His death and resurrection our need for crutches, our dependence on them, was defeated.
The call of Jesus isnít a call to pick up a crutch, but a call to pick up a cross. We are called to place our faith in His person, and to share in the victory of His death and resurrection. The call of Jesus is, ďArise and walk! In me, you are whole.Ē
This is the baby born at Christmas. What gift under your tree can compare?
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I agree with Edy. Eloquent and necessary!
Amen! Your words and insights are richly eloquent. Thank you.