Along with many churches, we at The Salvation Army have been following a Lent course.
This year’s has focused on the suffering of our Saviour Jesus Christ and is entitled “Jesus, the wounded Saviour” by Selwyn Hughes.
Of course we naturally think of Jesus’ suffering to have been physical as we contemplate the barbarity of the cross and the intense pain that Jesus had to endure.
But if we think more deeply we realise that there were other kinds of suffering that Jesus experienced in His life that are easier for us to identify with, such as rejection, loneliness and misunderstanding.
He was rejected and misunderstood by the spiritual leaders of His day, the very ones who knew all the prophecies of the Old Testament which point to Jesus, as do the yearly cycle of feasts such as Passover, and yet spoke out against Him.
How grieved He must have been by their attitude towards Him. Even His own human family misunderstood Him and His chosen disciples struggled to fully comprehend His mission and purpose.
At the lowest point of His life they deserted and denied Him.
Despite the intense pain of the crucifixion, the most devastating experience must have been the sense of separation from God His Father.
Sin separates from God and although Jesus was without sin personally, on the cross He took all the sins of all humanity past, present and future upon Himself and so was separated from His Father and cried out in despair “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
The life of Jesus does not end with the utter desolation, physical agony and death, for on the third day He rose to life-eternal life.
This glorious resurrection which we particularly celebrate and revel in on Easter Sunday is a daily reality for all Christians as we live in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
Christ is risen Hallelujah! We worship, serve and live for a living Saviour and Lord.
If you do not have this personal relationship with the risen Lord Jesus Christ, I encourage you to accept Him today by faith in Him as your Saviour and by forsaking your sins and asking His forgiveness. God bless you.