It’s often easy for us to see how much Jesus suffered for us on the cross. The Passion of the Christ puts it into stark reality. We often associate the Garden of Gethsemane with His agony. Yet, I find that I overlook the heartache Christ felt before.
Everyone can quote John 3:16. It’s plastered on the TV at nearly every sporting event by a fan holding a sign. It’s so commonplace, I overlook it.
Jesus’ suffering had purpose precisely because of what it accomplished. But, without the longing in His heart for us, He never would’ve set foot in Jerusalem. It was with a heart filled with love that He could suffer, that He would willingly die upon the cross, and that He would redeem the world.
It’s easy to read the Bible and find places that point to God’s love for us; it is, after all, a love story. The cross is the culmination of that. It is, ultimately, the act of a broken heart not just saying “This is how far I’d go for you”, but showing it.
Even the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11: 35, “Jesus wept”, shows us this heartache. The crowd that had gathered around Lazarus’ tomb saw this and knew how much Jesus loved Lazarus. He loves us just as much. He doesn’t want us to languish in death. He wants to restore us to life. He wants to use us to bring light to the world. He wants to fill us with grace so that we can speak to the glory of God.
We have power. We can accomplish great things. All because of love.
It seems so easy when explained like that. All I need is a little faith and I can move mountains (Matt 17:20). Yet, I’ve never moved an actual mountain. Does that mean my faith is too small?
Personally, I believe that we can move the mountains in our lives by relying on the Lord. By trusting in Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to move through us (Lamentations 3:25). If we expect miracles, God will deliver. He loves to show up dramatically on our behalf. We need only allow Him to help.
Of course, some things aren’t that simple. There can come moments when you sink beneath the waves. You need only cry out and He will rescue you. That’s not a comforting thought when it feels like I’m clinging to the rock by my fingertips in a hurricane. Perhaps if I just altered my perspective, I’d see that God had a hold of me the whole time. Or, maybe I needed to go through it for a purpose that isn’t yet apparent but will be revealed only in time.
No one likes hurt and heartache. Thankfully, we have a God who understands it, who’s suffered through it, and who can see us through to the other side. That seems cold comfort when we’re on our knees, broken. Yet, it’s true. Jesus knows the sting of betrayal (Judas and Peter), the pain of loss (Lazarus), and the ache of heartbreak (you). Whatever you’re going through, He’s been there, too.
Personally, I’d like to skip to the end, but I have to have faith that He works all things for my good (Romans 8:28). Even when it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.