“The Fellowship of His Suffering”-part 2

In the garden the night before his crucifixion, Jesus was so overwhelmed with the grief and pain of what he was experiencing and what was to come that he left the disciples and moved away from them to seek solace in His Father’s presence. The tears he wept, he wept alone, and when he came back to the disciples, they were sleeping! He did not have a single human friend who entered into his grieving with him. He had not a one who bore the pain and sorrow of His soul! But Jesus’ grief in the garden and throughout the passion was for more than the physical pain he would bear, more than the open mockery he would endure, more than the injustices he would face. His grief cut to the need of every soul that has ever walked this earth! His sorrow was in knowing that the penalty he was receiving in order to purchase redemption would be spurned and ignored, lost to the masses of humanity who so desperately needed it. His grief encompassed a kind of desolation never before experienced by the Godhead, as he felt the full wrath of His Father bearing down on Him. Every facet of Christ’s agony was absolute! The physical agony is merely an image of the spiritual and soul agony He endured.

When I feel the pain of someone else’s rejection, someone’s lostness, someone’s hurt and it causes me hurt, I am entering into the fellowship of His suffering. I am understanding Him and the pain he endured–and yes, continues to endure–on the behalf of hurting individuals. When my heart breaks for my young friend with a chronic disease that unchecked will end in an early death, or for my husband’s agony over the guilt he bears, I am experiencing just a tiny bit of Jesus’ pain. I bear the load with Him–just as many have carried a part of the intense suffering our family experienced during Joel’s absence, and thus entered into and fellowshipped in my suffering. It hurt; it cost each of them–but it also brought  a closeness, a new depth to our friendship. Every time we enter into and bear up one another in sorrow–every time we fellowship in the suffering of this life–our relationship deepens and becomes more holy. And that is the way with Jesus–every time I enter into the fellowship of His suffering, I come alive more deeply. I experience the joy of that hallowed ray of shekinah glory shining in my relationship with Him. And that gives me a hunger a thirst for Him to put everything RIGHT–it renews my longing for His Kingdom to be manifest!

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