Suffering

From early childhood I have found Good Friday and Easter weekend deeply meaningful. I was maybe 10 years old the first time the story of Jesus' crucifixion made me cry. As an adult I have found that focusing on his suffering has been incredibly helpful as I've gone through my own... including the suffering of betrayal.

Below are some reflections in scripture and music on his suffering.

The suffering servant

See, my servant will act wisely;
   he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
   his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
   and his form marred beyond human likeness—
so he will sprinkle many nations,
   and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
   and what they have not heard, they will understand.

Who has believed our message
   and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
   and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
   a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

—Isaiah 52:13-Isaiah 53:3

Unsurpassed suffering

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
   Look around and see.
Is any suffering like my suffering"

—Leviticus 1:12a

Suffering in our place

Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.

—Isaiah 53: 4-6

Our example

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
       even death on a cross!

—Phillipians 2: 5-8

Suffering... to make a way

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds...

—Hebrews 10:19-24

This article was written by:
Author image

Lisa Taylor

Lisa is a PSA trauma survivor, counselor and award-winning author living with her kids & recovering husband in New Zealand. She runs groups and sees international clients via Naked Truth Recovery.
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