#DailyDevotion Jesus Doesn’t Get A Pass On Suffering Because He Is God
Introit (Psalm 31:10–11, 13–15; Antiphon: Psalm 31:9, 22)
9O LORD, be kind and help me—I’m in trouble. My eyes, my throat, and my belly waste away with grief. 22I said when panic-stricken, “I’m cut off so that you can’t see me,” but You heard me plead and call to You for help.10My life is consumed with sorrow, and my years with groaning. My grief breaks down my strength and wastes away my limbs. 11I’m scorned by all my enemies; I’m a curse to my neighbors, and I frighten my friends -they look at me on the street and run away from me. 13I hear many slander, frightening me from all sides. Scheming together against me, they plot to take my life. 14But I trust You, O LORD. I say, “You are my God.” 15What happens to me is in Your hands–rescue me from my enemies who pursue me. 9O LORD, be kind and help me—I’m in trouble. My eyes, my throat, and my belly waste away with grief. 22I said when panic-stricken, “I’m cut off so that you can’t see me,” but You heard me plead and call to You for help.
Our meditation for today is from the Introit for Holy Monday. It is taken from Psalm 31. In this Psalm we see the passion of our LORD Jesus Christ. We can see him praying this psalm as he is in the garden of Gesemene praying, “If this can be taken from me do so, but not my will but yours be done.” In this psalm we can see his anguish and sweat like drops of blood flow down from his face as faces betrayal, abandonment, a kangaroo court, insults, beatings, scourging and being hung on a cross to die.
Jesus pleads with the Father to be kind to him and help him as he is in trouble. His trouble affects him in his spirit and soul but also makes itself manifest in his body as his eyes, throat and belly waste away with grief. As the sky darkens supernaturally Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” Jesus is panic-stricken as he feels cut off and feels as if God the Father cannot see him. Yet, in all this he does not lose faith. He cries to God. He believes the Father has heard his plea and call for help. In verses not in our introit he prays, 2“Listen to me — hurry to save me. Be my Rock of Refuge, a strong fortress to save me. 3You are my Rock and my Fortress; for the honor of Your name lead me and guide me. 4Pull me out of the trap secretly laid for me, because You are my Refuge.” Yet Jesus will not see his deliverance until the third day as he is raised from the dead. He suffers and dies on the cross.
We see Jesus’ inward struggle in verse ten: His grief breaks down his strength and waste his limbs. This isn’t just some story. Jesus doesn’t escape this experience because he is God. But it is because he is God, what he experiences in our human flesh, the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, actually experiences through his human nature what we experience as people of faith. His divine person adds the divine weight to the experience of this suffering and death so that we are redeemed. Despite the trials, the temptations, the agony of this suffering, Jesus puts his trust in God the Father. He says in the Psalm, 5“Into Your hands I entrust my spirit.” So we to trusting that he has undergone this for us follow him in our sufferings, crying out to God and putting our trust in his ultimate goodness, even if we do not see it until the resurrection.
O LORD our God who sees our afflictions, look with mercy upon us as you did your Son Jesus Christ and give us your Holy Spirit that we may endure with faith until you grant us a release from them and restore us to your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.