Life includes dark hours. We seldom meet anyone who has had a great life and has never experienced physical or emotional pain and loss. We accept this as a part of life. Our pain and suffering may be, in some small way, compared to that of Jesus' disciples as they watched the crucifixion of the man they loved and trusted.
In the painful hours as Jesus hung on the cross, his disciples agonized with him. Several stood, in tears, at the foot of that cross. The messages of hope - where he had told them he would rise again and even that he would meet with them in Galilee - seemed far away or forgotten completely. The immediate physical pain was in the fore front, blocking all view of future happiness. All they could see was that the Friend they loved had been mocked and beaten, nailed to a cross, and left to die an agonizing death. It seemed like the end. Tears blinded their eyes to seeing any further.
What they couldn't see was God the Father performing his mighty work of redemption. They couldn't understand that God had planned this moment since the first sin was committed. He was placing sin of the past and every sin of the future on Jesus, his Son. Jesus held the full load of guilt those sins carried. With his blood, he was paying the price - redeeming the souls of everyone who would put their trust in him.
Those disciples couldn't see that within hours Jesus would rise in victory even over death.
It is difficult to see anything good while we are in the middle of the suffering. A child dies. We or a loved one is suffering a debilitating illness. We lose everything as a result of fire or tornado. We lose a job and have no means of support. It is easy to forget the promises recorded for us in the bible. We are asked to have faith. Faith is holding on to the assurance that God has a plan. His plan may include suffering but always includes the future - the victorious future opened by Jesus' work of redemption.
- Matthew 26:28-29
- Matthew 26:32 and Mark 14:28
- Philippians 4:6-7
- Romans 6:23