Jesus teaches us not to love suffering, but how we must not avoid it.
Posted in , Mar 23, 2016
Many Christians wish they could move past the gloom and doom of Good Friday and go straight to the celebration of Resurrection Sunday. The traumatic death of Jesus is tough to bear; the suffering, pain and inhumane horror of the cross bring heaviness to our hearts. The details of the story about the physical and emotional pain that Jesus underwent along with the social injustice make us sad.
Knowing the final outcome of His victory over others’ sins, doesn’t ease the discomfort and brutality of the cross. The suffering of Jesus is very much a part of the message and the cost for our redemption. Truth said, many people suffer physically or mentally every day. Thus there is comfort in knowing that our Lord knows suffering, pain and abandonment firsthand.
Suffering is not the only thing that we can relate to in Jesus, but we, too, can identify with hearing the silence of God. We, too, expect God to come to our aid at all times but may feel He is not always present.
Pastor and author Barbara Brown writes about Good Friday, “This is what every believer must reckon with–God’s silence–not just then but also now–the same kind of silence that follows our own pleas to do something–protect us, rescue us, give us a way out. Good Friday is the day we receive no answer and must suffer that silence with the crucified one–wondering what it says about us, wondering what it says about God.”
Brown reassures us that the silence is broken through Christ. He speaks from the very heart of the suffering. He endures all that we endure including the silence of God.
Jesus teaches us not to love suffering, but how we must not avoid it. On Good Friday we are reminded that Jesus was not defeated but, instead, triumphed over His suffering.
When we sit in silence at the foot of the cross, we acknowledge that the Lord understands our very own pain and suffering.
We know the outcome, that suffering will be replaced by joy, but until then we must look upon the crucified One with hope that we, too, will find a way through our own suffering.
What is the most difficult part of Good Friday for you? Please share with us.
God, help us not to move quickly past Good Friday but to recognize that the One who endured it all for us hears our cry, feels our pain and comforts us in our times of darkness.
Draw upon the holiest of seasons! Send your prayer request for Good Friday Day of Prayer.