When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit - John 19:30
The three day period from Good Friday to Easer Sunday represents the darkest and brightest moments in human history. What seemed to the disciples to be the end of the world on Friday turned into the beginning of new life on Sunday. The story of Easter is one of transformation. Pain, despair, and suffering were transformed into bliss, hope, and joy.
Jesus does not promise to eliminate our suffering, His promise is of a much higher order: to give our suffering meaning. None of the suffering endured on that first Good Friday was eliminated. Jesus still felt the physical pain of the crucifixion, the emotional pain of his friends deserting Him, and the spiritual pain of carrying the weight of the world’s sins. The disciples still had to deal with the pain of watching their Teacher be mocked and murdered.
None of this suffering was eliminated. Something far more powerful happened - it was given new meaning. After the resurrection, the disciples finally understood that all that suffering needed to take place in order to bring about this new life they now found themselves in possession of. Like a mother who, after giving birth to her new baby, finds her excruciating pain transformed into joy, Jesus offers each of us an opportunity to transform our pain and suffering into new life in Him.
A relationship with Jesus offers us a powerful new lens through which to see the world - a lens that transmutes all suffering into progress toward the Kingdom of God.
Heavenly Father, grant us the wisdom needed to see the events of our lives the way You want us to see them. Fill us with Your Spirit and endow us with grace as we seek to accomplish Your will this week. In Jesus' name, Amen.
But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed - 1 Peter 4:13