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King of Pain

King of Pain

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief . . . Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows . . . he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities . . . and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5

I must confess that I have a fear of writing about pain. In my recovery, there have been those who, though they’ve known nothing of drug addiction, have freely given me advice on it. They may have had their own struggles, but it’s clear they’ve not been through what I have. It’s insulting to listen to their nonsense.

So, I feel more than a little inadequate writing about your suffering. I may have heard whispers of what you are going through, but frankly, I have no idea what it’s like to be you. I can’t empathize, and I have no clever story to identify with your pain.

That, I think, is the point of today’s passage, a prophecy of the coming Christ. Written 700 years before his birth, it describes the one who took on all of our suffering. In Jesus, God became a man who was horribly abused and put to death not only as a substitution for our sins, but also that he may identify with us, bearing our sorrows.

I may not be able to understand your suffering, but Christ does. In the garden on the night before his death, he knew what was coming and was terrified by it. My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me (Matthew 26:39). Yet, he willingly took on the sin and suffering of the world at the crucifixion, becoming the undisputed king of pain.

God is not unacquainted with our agony. It is, in fact, our suffering and misery that he took and continues to take upon himself. In our pain and misery, we must go to God, giving it up to him.

Bring me your misery. You may have my peace and strength only when you realize you have none of your own. Allow me to bear that which you cannot. I made you, I know your suffering, and I love you. Bring me your pain. I will carry it for you. 

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