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The God Who Suffers

May 21, 2019

Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28 (NIV)

The same Jesus who once called out to a crowd, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink” (7:37), now cries out from the cross, “I am thirsty.”

This is the only time that Jesus refers to his own physical suffering on the cross. Jesus thirsted because of his suffering, so that means he is able to help those who suffer.

We all suffer in various ways; but at some point in your life, you will suffer in a way that pushes you to the outer edge of your endurance. Christ has been there. So don’t talk about God as if he was removed from suffering. The suffering of our Lord pushed him right to the edge.

No religion has anything to say to this world unless it can address the problem of suffering. Where, in all the religions of the world, do you find a god who suffers? The only One who has seen suffering from the inside is Jesus Christ.

Where can you go when you reach the outer edge of your suffering? To the Savior who has wounds in his hands and feet. When your suffering seems unbearable, draw near to the Savior who said, “I am thirsty.”

He suffered, and that is why he is able to help those who suffer. There is no one else like him in all of human history, and you can come to him.

To whom do you turn in your suffering? What would keep you from turning to Jesus?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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