Sunday, July 9, 2023

Suffering Servant (Part Two)

By Clifton Angel
    Next, let us consider Jesus' paradox of pain. O how paradoxical it is that He who dwells where there is no pain (Rev 21:4) experienced pain!
    He experienced pain in that He was mistreated. Only He truly knows how much He hurt as the very souls that He came to save (Luke 19:10):
1. Spat upon Him and slapped Him (Matt 26:67);
2. Released the criminal Barabbas (ironically, his name means “son of his father”) instead of the sinless Savior, and scourged Him (Matt 27:26);
3. Mocked Him and drove a crown of thorns into His head (Matt 27:29-30);
4. Stripped Him of His clothing and crucified Him (Matt 27:35).
And yet, the text seems to emphasize that greater than these moments of mistreatments may have been the pain He experienced in the garden, where He prayed: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). The Great Physician, Who can heal all ailments, was in agony!
    Next, His experience of pain can be seen in His verbal mourning. The nature of Jesus‘ offering “up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death” (Heb 5:7) can even be defined as “howling,” which can mean to “weep and cry out loudly” (Oxford Dictionary). The Prince of peace (Isa 9:6), Who provides the peace “that passeth all understanding” (Phil 4:7), was for a time without peace!
    Finally, His experience of pain can be seen His internal mourning.
“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy” (Matt 26:36-37).
He whose “yoke is easy” and “burden is light” (Matt 11:30) had a heavy heart! Such should never have to be experienced by the God of Heaven! However, this section would be lacking if we did not include Scripture which might indicate a period of supreme loneliness (Mark 15:33–34):
“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

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