Jesus Felt Everything
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” —Mark 15:34
Mark’s Gospel makes it very clear that Jesus suffered intensely, and that he experienced deep human emotions. Mark does not want us to think that Jesus was God just “dressed up in a human costume” who didn’t suffer when the soldiers hammered the nails into his hands and feet. Jesus was just like one of us in his experience of pain and despair, even to the point of wondering why God had abandoned him.
Looking back on Jesus’ death, we know that God didn’t abandon Jesus. We can see now how God brought him through death into new life. Yet Jesus felt abandoned just before he died. This point can remind us that our feelings do not make up all of reality. If we feel despairing or hopeless or that all is lost, we can remember that Jesus felt the same. If we are terrified of death, or we can’t feel any sense of God’s presence with us in our suffering, we can be assured that God has not abandoned us, just as God did not abandon Jesus. Sometimes all we can do is to stay the course, remembering that God found a way to bring life out of death, even when Jesus and the others around him could not see it in the moment.
FOR ACTION: Think of people in your life now who are suffering or despairing for any reason. How might you make yourself available to them this week so that they will know they are not alone?