So Jesus can relate to suffering and pain.
In fact, his essential purpose in leaving his kingship in Heaven and condescending to take mortal form was to suffer. And it started with his birth in a filthy stable.
During his life, He alleviated pain everywhere He found it. Blind eyes were opened. Condemned prostitutes were forgiven. Tax collectors escaped a life of being despised by others. The demon-oppressed were freed.
Then he died excruciatingly.
If Christmas conjures magical feelings of family and beauty, let us never forget its underpinnings are the Son of God coming to help the helpless, the defend the defenseless, to redeemed the scum of society, to sanctify the sinner and prick the self-righteous to reflection.
He feels your pain. He came to take the pain away.
Photo from soulation org
Think about Job’s friends. They wanted to console Job. But their theology was too black-and-white. Through some 20 chapters, they degenerated from help to hurt, from wanting to encourage to discouraging. Eventually, they just argued.
Don’t be like Job’s friends. They started on the right foot. The Bible says that when calamity slammed Job, they sat with him in silence for seven days, grieving with him. They showed strong moral support.
But then they searched for words. They sought reasons to explain the unexplainable. They spoke eloquently and gradually became enamored with their fine speeches and forgot about the purpose of uplifting the victim. Instead of infusing solace, they spiked Job. Dogmatism doomed them.
Their lack of words spoke more powerfully than the florid poetry they poured out trying to convince Job he was wrong. In the end, they did more harm than good. Eventually, the dragged Job into the fray and provoked him to some unwise statements. At the end, God rebuked them.
If only they would have finished like they started, friends showing mute affirmation.
Certainly “truth” would be another area for definition. But my faith in the Truth impels me to act. The same love of the Savior buzzes in me, and I cannot stand myself if I am not about Jesus’ business.
Parenthetically, I renounce the idea that I am trying to earn my salvation. I am saved because of Jesus’ work on the cross. Because of Jesus work on the cross, out of sublime gratitude and with joy, I work to alleviate others’ suffering.
And you? How do you define Christianity?
When he was serving God, Pastor Harold Warner suffered a car accident that left him in a wheelchair. Recently, he needed an amputation for a nasty festering infection. So naturally it hit like a tidal wave at Bible conference when he declared: Through all the trials, I never doubted the goodness of God.