The Suffering God

Friday, September 01, 2006

I was once asked by a non-believer, "Why would Jesus' death matter? He knows the end of the story anyway."

That was what I was trying to work out 2 days ago while meditating on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. I had wondered again how could he be in such distress since he already knows what is going to happen? Even though He knows He will be flogged and beaten, mocked and nailed on the cross (which could be worse that what was depicted in The Passion), He also knows that He will be risen and will return to the Father. So, why was He so distressed that "his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luk 22:44)?

He could be distressed for Himself but I believe it is more than that. I had to remind myself again that he could be experiencing ALL the sins and distress of all mankind as he bore them for us. He is an offering of sin, a substitutionary atonement. So all the distresses that I experienced and will experience, all add up together, pale in comparison. For that I am humbled. And so I go forth in faith in my Suffering God, the Suffering Servant.

Picture of the Garden of Gethsemane from

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