At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
Mark 15:33-34 NIV
Today, we agonize with Jesus as we read about how He hung on the cross. Certainly we do so because it’s painful to watch Him bear the weight of our sin and to pay the penalty for our disobedience to God.
But maybe we can take another look so that we can see His surrender to the Father’s will in the garden or His emboldened words when He declared, “This temple, if destroyed, will be raised again in three days.” Perhaps we are made to take another look at our Lord upon the cross, but to do so with different lenses on. Let us think of all those seemingly endless hours on the cross, endured by Jesus because of His commitment to the mission of human redemption and His compassion for all.
Let us consider His great desire to redeem human connection with God, which could only be accomplished by His blood and His resurrection.
Jesus teaches us that we are to always find purpose in our pain. Jesus’ purpose is easy to interpret; it was to bring redemption to humanity and to be the bridge to eternal security. His pain and suffering were all for a reason.
In this season we are living through, with all the emotions we are experiencing—fear, anger, angst, worry, concern, confusion, perplexity, etc.—the lesson is very simple: as painful as it is, God makes it purposeful in maturing us for His glory!
What possibly could be the purpose of your pain? Consider that it could be:
- to strengthen your faith
- to forge your character
- to shape your personality
- to purge your unnecessaries
- to filter what’s true in your life from what’s not true
- to shape your identity
Don’t go through a trial and come out with nothing of spiritual significance. If all you do is resume life when it’s over, you will have mismanaged the moment. Use the moment, no matter how painful, to be re-created, revived, refined, and reformed.
Good Friday is good because there is purpose in the pain.