Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week Meditation -- Monday, March 29, 2010

Yesterday (Sunday, March 28, 2010), we celebrated the events of Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. That was a time of joyous celebration and exuberance--the King had come! But, it would not be long before joy turned into sorrow and celebration into suffering. As we prepare our hearts for Easter and reflect upon the events of Holy Week, allow me to share a few meditations on suffering.

"Suffering" is one of many words loaded with shades of meaning. Is "suffering" sickness, or is "suffering" hardship, or is "suffering" persecution? Is one person's suffering the same as another's? Is suffering from physical illness the same as emotional suffering? Does God really care if we suffer? What about the sufferings of Christ?

The simplest form of suffering for us to grasp may be physical sickness. We have all seen this type of suffering. We have all experienced it, to various degrees, in one form or another. Such suffering is usually easy to spot, usually easy to understand, and usually easy to sympathize with because it is common to our experience.

The Gospels report many occasions where multitudes of the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the possessed, the hurting came to Jesus for hope and healing. What drew them to Jesus? Oh, yes, there was certainly the mob hysteria caused by word-of-mouth reports of His healing abilities. A few may have sought Jesus as their last hope for healing such as the woman who touched the hem of His garment, or the four friends who lowered a paralyzed man down through Peter's roof. Many came seeking someone who could sympathize with their sickness, ease their suffering and change their situation. Isn't that what we are all looking for?

Those who came to Jesus received their healing; but many found something greater: faith and forgiveness. They came to one who sympathized with them in their sickness and were healed. They went away in faith from the One who would ultimately sympathize with and forgive their sin through His own suffering.

Sickness, and its accompanying suffering, are universal to the experience of humankind. We are all infected and affected. Those who believe in Christ await the ultimate cure, the ultimate healing, the ultimate ease of suffering from our Great Physician, Jesus Christ.

The Great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus.

Your many sins are all forgiv'n,
Oh hear the voice of Jesus;
Go on your way in peace to heav'n,
And wear a crown with Jesus.

All glory to the dying Lamb!
I now believe in Jesus;
I love the blessed Savior's name,
I love the name of Jesus;

His name dispels my guilt and fear,
No other name but Jesus;
Oh! how my soul delights to hear,
The charming name of Jesus.

Sweetest not in seraph song,
Sweetest name on mortal tongue,
Sweetest carol ever sung,
Jesus, blessed Jesus!

Verse: William Hunter, 1859
Refrain: Richard Kempenfelt, 1777

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