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Understanding Suffering at Easter

"Tis better to suffer wrong than do it.”
—Thomas Fuller

The tragedy of the Gospel is something worth exploring. Jesus came into the world knowing He would endure darkness, tragedy, and pain. He was a joyful man, but He wasn’t oblivious to the brokenness of our world.

“He was despised and forsaken of men,

A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

And like one from whom men hide their face

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

And our sorrows He carried” Isaiah 53:3-4a

He was the man who felt pain at a greater measure than anyone else before or after Him. History has countless examples of people who’ve suffered greatly, but none more than Jesus, the Suffering Servant who bore humanity’s sins.

This is important for us to remember as we approach Easter, for it gives us permission to grieve—to feel pain and acknowledge the injustice in our world—without resorting to violence, bitterness, or hopelessness.

His suffering also says something about the human condition, echoing the reality that we all suffer, and while culturally, the solution is either to turn to coping mechanisms, become accusatory, or resign ourselves to despair, the Gospel gives us a radical alternative.

It invites us to acknowledge our pain and sorrow.

It invites us to turn toward the One who suffered more than we can ever fathom.

It invites us to the consider our tragedy in light of the tragedy of the Gospel.

“Jesus shares with us the darkness of what it is to be without God, as well as showing forth the glory of what it is to be with God … We listen almost in spite of ourselves when He tells us the ship is sinking with all hands aboard ... It is an appalling thing to tell us when we are trying so hard to pretend that it is not so ... [but] we listen because we know that He knows the worst as well as we do.” Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth

Our peace is promised when we realize Jesus was more human, more acquainted with pain, and more aware of the fallen nature of the world than we’ll ever be. By identifying ourselves with His cross, we can find meaning, purpose, and beauty in our difficult circumstances.

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like Him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way.Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.” 1 Peter 4:1-2 The Message Translation

We invite you to join us for our Easter service at 11A at our Riordan Campus (175 Frida Kahlo Way).