Suffering is something we can all identify with…It does not matter who we are or where we live. It has no regard for social status. It does not respect material riches or rank. Single or married, young or not so young, child-full or child-free, we all experience, one way or another, the sting of suffering.
Jesus felt it too. And before He felt the agony of the cross, I’m sure He experienced the agony of knowing that the cross was approaching. He knew His destiny. He knew what He had to endure. He knew He had the power to stop it. But He also knew that He wouldn’t. His love for us overcame His human emotions. Love prevailed over fear and anguish. However, as a man, I can’t help but think that, even though He ruled over His human urges to flee pain…the feelings did not just go away.
As a man, of flesh and bones, I think His heart must have beaten a bit faster, and His hands might have felt a bit clammy as He talked to His disciples about His impending fate.
“And the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priest and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” Mark 10: 33-34.
As a human being, I can’t help but think that for Jesus, knowing that at the end, glory would be revealed didn’t make the path to victory any less painful…
But our Suffering Messiah is also here to emphasize that very last sentence that follows the description of the horrors of His passion… “Three days later, He will rise!”
He knows exactly what it is to suffer for a while to then bask in the glory divine. That is why the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write 1 Peter 5:10:
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
He is here to tell us that He too suffered the pain of this world, but also to tell us that His power will restore us, and that He is the One who:
“will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21: 4
That is His promise, and I am clinging to it. That is the Hope that does not disappoint. And I pray that the suffering I must endure in this world will develop, indeed, the perseverance that purifies my faith so I may, one day, have all my tears wiped away by the very hands of my Lord and Savior.