When we think of God, we usually consider that fact that He is righteous, holy, loving, and good. But here is something else to consider about God: He is the God who has suffered.
We don’t tend to think that a perfect Creator would experience such a human trait as human pain and suffering. After all, why would you suffer if you did not have to?
But God has suffered,and that more deeply than any of us could ever imagine.
In his book The Cross of Christ, John Stott said, “Our God is a suffering God.” And I think he is right.
Listen to Isaiah’s description of what Jesus (who was God) went through at Calvary:
“He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief . . . Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3-5 NKJV)
“A man of suffering.” That was Jesus.
But why did God suffer?
Because He loved and loves. That means He also enters into our suffering as well.
Hebrews 2:17-18 tells us:
”Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted” (NLT).
You are not alone in your suffering today. Jesus has been there and walked in your shoes and He is here for you right now.
Call out to Him.
This Sunday at Harvest
I will deal with this idea and more in a message I will be giving this Sunday morning at Harvest. The message is titled “Why Did Jesus Have to Suffer and Die?”
This is part of our new series, Essentials: What Every Christian Needs to Know. I hope you can come and join us, or tune in and watch online. It will also be broadcast live in Southern California at 9:45 a.M. on KWVE (107.9 FM).
Links to other resources