There is nothing in life that could be more painful than what Jesus endured on our behalf, when he was deserted by his friends, ridiculed by those who would not believe in him, beaten and tortured before his crucifixion, then nailed to a cross, in shameful public display, dying of slow suffocation.
He created us, yet allowed humanity the freedom to do this, to fulfill Scripture and to set us free from our sin. This was no surprise to Jesus. He was aware of what was coming, foreknowing all the details, all the pain, all the humiliation. Imagine knowing something that awful was going to happen to you. Jesus understands emotional and psychological anguish. The night that Jesus knew they would arrest him, he went to pray, but took some friends with him. Then he said to them, 'My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch [keep awake] with me.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wills.
Though Jesus confided in his three friends, they didn't understand the depth of his torment, and when Jesus returned from prayer he found them asleep. Jesus understands what it's like going through pain and extreme sadness alone. Here it is summarized, as John describes in his gospel: "He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Why Is Life So Hard?
Some of it is explained by selfish, hateful actions on the part of others. Some of it defies an explanation in this life. But God offers us himself. God gives us the knowledge that he has endured also, and is aware of our pain and needs. Jesus said to his disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. There is ample reason to be afraid, troubled, but God can give us his peace, which is greater than the problem before us.
He is after all, God, the Creator. The one who has always existed. The one who created a universe on the backstroke. Yet even in his power, he's also the one who knows us intimately, even the smallest, insignificant details. And if we will trust him with our lives, relying on him, though we encounter difficulties, he will hold us securely.
Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. He can take us through the difficult circumstances of this life, and then bring us into eternal life, if we will trust him. Jesus prayed, "O righteous Father, although the world has not known you, yet I have known you; and these have known that you sent me; and I have made your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.
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