And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4
My pastor, Rev. Kevin Miller, said something pretty profound Sunday morning. He said, “Some people never see the power of the Resurrection because all they can see is the pain of the cross.” My roommate lives in constant pain from fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy. She has let that pain debilitate her to a large extent. Sometimes, I’ll admit I’m not always sympathetic enough. I have an extremely high pain threshold. I’ve had three children with no anesthesia. The most I can sympathize is that when I broke my little toe, it throbbed constantly for almost a year. But I still never let it keep me from going anywhere or doing anything. Once in a while, I took a Tylenol.
On the other hand, I’ve had emotional pain in my life that nearly killed me. When Wade and I split, and then we got Kara’s death diagnosis, I agonized for months, pleading with God to take me instead. The helplessness and hopelessness of the entire situation was more painful than I could bear without clinging to my Savior in distress. He was my only lifeline.
Do we really think about the physical and emotional pain and torture that Jesus went through for us on the cross? Or do we look away from it? The movie The Passion of the Christ was a vivid depiction. It was hard to watch. Maybe because of my own experiences, I believe the physical pain Christ endured was nothing compared to the emotional. His disciples abandoned Him, He was mocked and scorned by those He came to save, but most of all, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” (Matthew 27:46) as the judgment for our sins was laid on His shoulders. Talk about pain! The Trinity Itself was literally broken for those moments as sin was judged. We can’t begin to fathom that depth of pain.
There’s a new movie out now called Risen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcTVLfn5i8g. It doesn’t give us quite the same sense of the pain that the first movie did, but moves instead straight to the power of the resurrection. The power to change lives, the power to propel twelve frightened men to change their world, the power to overcome the pain in our own lives. The actor who played Jesus should get an Oscar just for being able to portray the love in Jesus’ eyes, and the complete lack of condemnation for the soldier who had not only crucified Him but stuck the spear in His side to make sure He died. Blood and water had poured out and payed the penalty even for this man’s sins
Power. The Resurrection proves Jesus’ power over pain, sin, and death. One day, He will wipe away every tear, and there’ll be no more of any of these. That day is coming soon! Acts 1:8 says, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” Why are so many Christians still walking around with the hang dog expression of the pain of the cross instead of exulting in the power of the resurrection? We are the only Bible most people read! We need to let them see Jesus in us. We don’t deny the pain of the cross, but we shouldn’t live in it either. When Jesus healed people, He told them to pick up their mats and go. He gives us that same commission—Go! Go in the power of the Resurrection!
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: Which do you believe is harder to overcome, physical or emotional pain?