Lord's Day Liturgy

The Score Is Settled

I’ve been thinking about the phrase the body keeps the score (which is a title of the book by the same name). Perhaps more and/or excruciating and/or chronic pain in the body provides a good platform for pondering the feedback loop that the body provides. Pain is feedback, pain is a gift from God in a number of ways, not just to increase our sympathy for others, but to get our attention that something is wrong. Good doctors and physical therapists warn about dependence on pain meds if meds are used in a way to forget that something is broken.

Leprosy, for example, was a deadly disease that didn’t hurt, and that was exactly the problem. Leprosy deadened the nervous system so the leper couldn’t feel when he rubbed off his skin, and finger and toes. Lack of sensitivity leads to self-destruction of the body.

In Revelation 16, the first bowl of judgment, oozing and painful sores on the body not only fits as another external sign on those who took the mark of the beast, it also fits as a sign of the oozing and festering sin in their hearts. That will be an extreme example of the body keeping score. Skin erupts into boils as their sin erupts into blasphemy. This isn’t spiritualizing the sores, but it is connecting the spiritual and the physical.

That, though, won’t be the ultimate example of the body keeping the score. The ultimate example has already occurred. It was Jesus who took on a body so that He could settle the score our bodies deserved.

So Isaiah prophesied, “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was chastised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4). Peter wrote, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).