Often people come up and speak to my dog Sam. I love it when they do this and so does Sam, he loves meeting people. Sam is a therapy dog which means he is happy to show lots of love and friendship to anyone who likes dogs.
When my wife and I were assessed as therapy dog handlers, the assessor told us a wonderful story about how she had taken her therapy dog into a home to visit the residents.
One of the residents had suddenly lost her sight and became completely blind in her middle age and as a result of the shock of that happening, she stopped talking completely. Well when the therapy dog brushed her leg she reached out and started stroking him and in no time at all was talking again. Yes, we are convinced that therapy dogs can bring special benefits to those they meet. But the question remains is that therapy enough? Sam cannot restore someone’s spiritual blindness, but the LORD Jesus Christ can heal both physical and spiritual blindness.
Jesus in His first recorded sermon said: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)
We all need a saviour because as the Bible says: “We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Sin separates us from a Holy God, but when the Lord Jesus Christ the sinless Son of God poured out His life’s blood on the cross of Calvary He took the punishment for our sin on Himself, and made a way for us to live with Him for eternity. This beautiful passage from the prophet Isaiah written before the crucifixion tells how Jesus bore our pain and suffering that we may live with Him for eternity:
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.”
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3-5)
For when I turned to the LORD Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, He not only forgave all my sins, but gave me abundant life – a life with meaning and purpose and a hope to live with Him for eternity in Paradise, where “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (See the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation Chapter 21 Verse 4.)