In part 1 of “Understanding and Healing from Trauma” we touched on the truth that Jesus Christ came to heal our wounds. The gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus was sent by God to heal the brokenhearted and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. (Luke 4:18) In understanding and healing from trauma, the ideas of being brokenhearted and oppressed will help us to know the exact type of person that Jesus came to save. His salvation is not just for those who have never been effected by trauma, but those who are described by Luke as being brokenhearted and oppressed.
The physical heart in our bodies is at the center of our anatomy. Sitting right in the middle of our chest, the heart is found at the core of who we are physically. The idea of the heart is used in this way of representing the center of our mind, our person, and even our personality. (See Psalms 101:5 and 103:15) This includes our entire inner life, our thinking and even our decision making. It is here at the heart-level that trauma hits us, trying to change who we are and how we make decisions. The one who is described in the gospel as the brokenhearted is the very one Jesus said that he was sent to heal. Your personal trauma is not beyond repair.
Luke also tells us that Jesus came to free the oppressed. This word oppressed describes something that has been caused to break into pieces. The word literally means “to break.” This word was used in ancient Greek for the smashing of pottery into many small parts, a picture of complete brokenness. This is what the idea of oppression illustrates, something that seems so broken that it appears to be useless. Trauma can make a person feel this way. This breaking into pieces as described here in Scripture is sometimes described by psychologists as disassociation. The biblical idea of oppression also includes the idea that when something has been broken like this that what is lost is the validity of that object. Jesus came to free the oppressed, to restore to you the reality of your validity, your worth, and to make you completely whole.
The oppressed person is also called the downtrodden. This expression from the prophet Isaiah can also be used to describe the depression that comes from someone who has experienced trauma and disassociation. A victim of past trauma often will deal with fighting off depression because they almost feel disconnected from themselves. Those who need to be restored are not without help. There is no broken pottery so shattered that Jesus Christ cannot make the repair.
Luke 4:18 NKJV
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.