If we are created in God’s image, and if there is so much suffering in the world, then God must also be suffering. How else can we understand the revelation of the cross? Why else would the central Christian logo be a naked, bleeding, suffering divine-human being? The image of Jesus on the cross somehow communicates God’s solidarity with the willing soul. A Crucified God is the dramatic symbol of the one suffering that God fully enters into with us—much more than just for us, as many Christians were trained to think.
Yesterday I read the above quote. Man, it challenged my thinking in so many ways. Thinking of the words with and for and that Jesus didn’t suffer for us, but He suffers with us paints a picture of a God who sees, a God who loves, a God who has not forgotten, a God who is present and in this with me. It also reminds me that I’m not immune to or above suffering. Instead it’s an opportunity to journey with God.
In our human nature, suffering is something we try to avoid. But it’s in the grit and difficulty that we grow, that our character is tested, that we learn valuable life lessons. Let’s suffer with God, because if there’s one thing I’ve seen when everyone comes together in difficulty, is that there is a unity and tenacity to get through it together.
Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day we remember Christ’s death on the Cross. The journey to the Cross and the time He spent on it was marked with much suffering. Let’s not forget that that suffering was and is with us.