Never let someone who draws a line and say you can’t cross it intimidate you. Don’t be discouraged when someone says you can’t do it. You might have been the only one sent to do it.

The plaque the Romans placed above Jesus’s head as he writhed in pain-“King of the Jews”-was called a titulus and, despite common perception, was not meant to be sarcastic. Every criminal who hung on a cross received a plaque declaring the specific crime for which he was being executed. Jesus’s crime, in the eyes of Rome, was striving for kingly rule (i.e., treason), the same crime for which nearly every other messianic aspirant of the time was killed.

Imagine every hideous and vile deed committed from the beginning of time until Christ’s future return-heaped upon the pure and perfect Son of God. Bearing the sin of many, he drank the very cup of wrath he prayed would be taken from him. No other pain can compare to Christ’s separation from his Father.

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands. In Christ we see God suffering – for us. And calling us to share in God’s suffering love for a hurting world. The small and even overpowering pains of our lives are intimately connected with the greater pains of Christ. Our daily sorrows are anchored in a greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.

These are difficulties which you must settle for yourself. Choose your own degree of crossness. I shall press you no more.

1 2 3 4