Have you ever felt like God has simply abandoned you? Maybe you were going through a really hard time or facing a devastating illness. Did you feel all alone? When you sit back and look at the natural disasters, the wars, and the suffering of innocent children, do you ever question why God allows these things to happen? I must admit, that we all seek answers at times, especially when it comes to the hard questions in life. The Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament, give us just one thing to say when confronted with the misery of this real world: Jesus.
I’ve been watching a video series about the Gospels in which Dr. Jono Linebaugh from Knox Theological Seminary explains it this way:
The name “Jesus” contains a story of a real human life that includes the pain of childbirth, the death of friends and loved ones, tears, and real suffering. The suffering that Jesus bore was physical, as He was beaten, had a crown of thorns placed on His head, was pierced with a spear, and as he experienced suffocation. It also included massive emotional suffering, as was described when Jesus prayed right before He was betrayed that if it were at all possible, could God find a different way to save mankind. Jesus also ultimately experienced the most profound spiritual suffering that anyone has ever experienced when He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
We may say something like that in moments of doubt. We may even feel like that. The difference is that Jesus was forsaken by God. When all the sins of the world were transferred to Him as He died on the cross, the righteous God could not even look upon His Son. He had to turn His back to Him. God’s plan was that Jesus would experience that reality so that we never would or should or even could. When bad things happen on this earth, God has not forsaken us. He is right there in the middle of it, comforting us.
For right now, the world is still experiencing the consequences of sin; but God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth. The Apostle John describes it like this: “’Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” (Revelation 21:3-4)
This is the wonderful hope of those who believe. As we celebrate this Easter season, remember that God gave His One and Only Son to die in our place so that we might never have to experience separation from Him again.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.