“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
The fourth step of the “Way of the Heart” is entitled, “The Father sends his Son to save” and considers how God did not abandon broken humanity, but came to save and redeem us.
Even though the world was “broken” through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God did not abandon us. Shortly after that Original Sin God promised a future redeemer, explaining how the “seed” of the woman would crush the head of the serpent once and for all (see Genesis 3).
After that pivotal moment in human history God went forth on a mission to save humanity by enlisting the help of the humans he created, involving them in the plan of their own salvation. God even went so far as to become one of us in the person of Jesus to save us from our sins, freely sacrificing himself on the cross. He led the way, showing us how we are to pick up our own crosses and follow after him.
Furthermore, to leave a lasting example of God’s love for humanity Jesus called himself the “Good Shepherd,” who “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Jesus explained to his apostles exactly how much the “Good Shepherd” desires the salvation of all the sheep in his sheepfold.
If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:12-14)
This example of the “Good Shepherd” shows to us that God desires to take us back to him and repair our brokenness. He does not want us to wallow in our squalor, but to rise up, renewed and full of grace. In fact, he is not only the “Good Shepherd,” but also the “Great Physician” who heals us and brings us back to spiritual health.
As we continue on our Lenten journey, let us meditate on the love God has for us and consider how he wants to heal us and our infirmities.