The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known. – The Return of the King
These are the words spoken by Ioreth, the eldest woman working in the Houses of Healing in the city of Gondor. After the forces of Sauron had ravaged Gondor, the Houses of Healing were full with wounded soldiers and civilians. Some of the patients were very important: Faramir, the new Steward of Gondor, Eowyn, shield maiden of Rohan, and Merry of the Shire. Each of these had come in direct contact with the Witch King of Angmar, and the darkness was overtaking them. Gandalf heard these words by Ioreth, and summoned Aragorn, the true king of Gondor. He was the last chance for these individuals specifically, and furthermore, the whole of Middle Earth.
There are obvious parallels between the role Aragorn played in Middle Earth and the role that Jesus plays in our world today. Both Aragorn and Jesus, kings over their kingdoms, bring restoration to not only the land, but also to the individuals within the land.
The Healing of the Land
With Aragorn coming into Gondor, he unified the many kingdoms of men. This created a cascade of restoration across the land, mending relationships between centuries-old enemies and inspiring peace where there had been conflict. Leaders from across the land traveled to Gondor to pay homage to their new king and beg forgiveness for past wrongs. The king’s presence alone brought peace and his mercy brought healing.
Jesus’ role on this earth is very similar. While Jesus is currently not presently ruling over the world from a physical throne, his Spirit is bringing restoration to a lost world through the work of his Church. The hungry receive food, the sick receive balm, and the weary receive rest. Granted, the work is endless until he returns, but through his influence in and through the work of the Church, the world is finding healing. Ultimately, he will bring peace from all conflict because in the last day, every knee will bow to his authority, and everyone, believer and non-believer, will know that he is Lord. Healing in this case will come because every inch of earth where the curse was, Jesus will make new. The curse of sin will be no more.
The Healing of the Body
Aragorn walked into the Houses of Healing and healed the bodies and minds of the people there. He focused a great deal of his effort on Faramir, Eowyn, and Merry – three individuals who directly affected the outcome of the battle or would directly affect the fate of Gondor. For each them, he spoke to them, drawing them back into the light, whereas Sauron had been drawing them toward the darkness. Using a mundane weed called Athelas (ironically called kingsfoil by people of Gondor) and his own touch, Aragorn brought those three from the land of the dead back into the light of the living.
Jesus’ effect on the bodies of his people is much the same. Currently, we live in bodies that are continually degrading over time. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is true – everything breaks down over time. Why is that? Death entered the world with Adam. Because of the fall, death rules over the material world with an iron first, taking everything with it as it goes. Everything dies. Everything hurts. Everything suffers at some point. In Jesus, the child of God has hope. We know one day, Jesus will restore our bodies and renew us completely. He defeated death. He will restore all things.
The Healing of the Soul
Aragorn brought with him a sense of peace and comfort to the land of Middle Earth. Even his coming into Gondor was a welcome site, as forces of Sauron had demoralized and scattered it across the Pelennor field. With Aragorn’s kingdom, not only did he bring actual peace ushered into the land, but also he brought peace for the weary hearts and souls of the citizen of the land. No long were they under the oppressive hand of Sauron. Instead, they had freedom.
Jesus’ earthly ministry brought with it comfort for the harassed and helpful. He brought comfort for the weak and succor for the weary. He came “to proclaim good news to the poor…to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19) His ministry was not simply one of healing the sick and feeding the hungry, but it was a loftier goal – the deliverance of all creation from the curse of sin. He accomplished that through his death and resurrection. Through the resurrection of Jesus, we have the hope that he is making all things new and healing a world ravaged by sin and death. Through the resurrection of Jesus, we experience God’s eternal plan of redemption for his people and his creation.