Scripture in Text
Suffering for Others Sufferings
I’m wondering what Christian saviour looks like, what Christian Messiah looks like. I think Isaiah portrayed Christian Messiah very Clearly. He carried our diseases, was wounded, was crushed upon him and was the punishment. That’s what Christian Messiah looks like and that is the Messiah we believe in, that is a core of our beliefs in a gloomy picture. That is what our Christian saviour looks like. There is a profound truth here. Our saviour suffered for our suffering. That’s what our saviour looks like. Our saviour suffered for our suffering. Isaiah said he was wounded for our sins, that’s what our saviour did. This week I meditate on the saviour who suffered for others, suffering that is so beautiful. Anybody suffering for others suffering, that is the most beautiful thing that you can see. We see that in our parents. The parents truly suffered for the suffering of their children. In the YF meeting many parents shared about parenting and all this stuff. At the end, this was what I said, “There are a lot of things that you can do for your children, but I’d like you to do just do one thing, suffer with them when they’re suffering”. Just simple, suffer with them when they’re suffering. Our parents did that. They suffered when we suffered. They cried when we cried. They knew that we could not say everything that we went through, but they just didn’t even ask questions. They just felt it in their body. So that is the concrete example that we see about human beings suffering for others suffering. But you may say that, oh, they’re not really others. you know, children are their extensions, but still what parents did was admirable and I’m always forever thankful for what they did for us. You know, suffering for others suffering, that is the highest value and noblest ideal and the most admirable action a human being can emulate. That is what we Christians believe at the core of our belief.
The Gift of God
God saw the suffering of human beings because of their sins, and he sent Jesus Christ and Jesus suffered to heal us from our suffering. That’s what we believe at the core. What is more amazing is that Jesus did not suffer for the noble, worthy or great people who are worthy enough for others to suffer for. This is what Saint Paul said, “For while we’re still weak at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. Christ died for the ungodly, not for the respectable people. Not for holy people, not for godly people, but Christ died for the ungodly”. Sometimes we say, why should I suffer for people like that? they’re not worth it. They don’t deserve my sacrifice. They don’t deserve my suffering. Why should I suffer for people like that? We say that but Jesus died for the ungodly, regardless of who they were, doesn’t matter. They can be worthless people. They can even be people who give you a hard time regardless of who they are, Jesus simply suffered for the people who are suffering, doesn’t matter what costs, doesn’t matter for what reason. Maybe for their own sins and maybe their own reasons, but it doesn’t matter who they are, just for the people suffering. Jesus suffered. You know it’s like a tree that gives shade to the tree cutter in the summer who comes up. He’s about to cut that down, cut down the tree, and he just wants to rest before he does that. And the trees still provide shade.
How can we suffer for those who give us a hard time? And why should I suffer for them? You know, sometimes I realize this, the people who gave me a hard time, I realized that they were suffering from their own pain. I didn’t know that before, why couldn’t I understand that?, what did I do to you? why do you make me suffer?. That’s when I realized that they are suffering from their own pain. When I saw that, I was able to embrace and understand that they are suffering. That’s what Jesus said on the cross, Jesus said “Forgive them for they do not know what they’re doing”. In other words they do not even know what they’re suffering from. They are not even in touch with their own pain and they’re putting their suffering onto me. Forgive them. I think that’s what Jesus is implying. They were not even aware of their own pain and suffering and they imposed their suffering onto Jesus. Suffering for others suffering. That’s a healing that happens, healing is not powerful people correct the powerless, weak people. Healing is when powerful people empty everything they have and suffer with the powerless people. That’s when healing happens. Isaiah said this “By his bruises we are healed, by Jesus’ suffering, we are healed”. I realized that, oh, there is a powerful healing in the suffering for others suffering. People don’t like suffering. People run away from suffering. People reject to be suffered, we are scared of suffering, but you know what? When you’re scared of suffering or you’re running away from suffering, you become victims of suffering, and you become enslaved to your own suffering. Only way to deal with our suffering is to go through the suffering, not to go away, not to go sideways, but through it. Only through the suffering we can overcome our own suffering and especially when you are able to suffer others suffering, you’ll see the amazing power of healing in that suffering. That’s why suffering for others is so beautiful, but I don’t see that. I don’t see that around me. Whenever suffering comes, we are not able to embrace any kind of suffering, whether it is my own suffering or others suffering we just reject it from our body. Healing can never happen.
My friends, when you see or when you hear other people’s suffering, don’t even try to console them or give them advice. Simply suffer with them. That is the best thing you can do for them. Be there feeling the pain they go through. Don’t try to correct them or even boost them up. Sometimes people who are are suffering, they are very unreasonable. They don’t make sense. They say things that don’t make sense. Do things that don’t make sense? They’re very unreasonable. Don’t try to put reason into them. You don’t need to teach them. Just simply suffer with them. If you can try to feel every pain that person feels, that’s so hard. That’s why healing doesn’t happen. That’s the greatness of a person who is able to embrace that pain of others who say, no, no, no, no. That’s your problem. That’s your suffering. Jesus when Lazarus died, he wept at the last moment of his suffering. What he simply wanted was his friends, his disciples to be with him. Luke says, “His sweat turned into blood”. His suffering was so severe and what Jesus simply wanted was, “Be with me in this time of suffering” but his disciples could not do that. This is what Jesus said “I am deeply grieved even to death, remain here and stay awake with me to stay with me. Just be with me, could you not stay awake with me? Just one hour?” staying with people suffering is so difficult. They cannot do that. They cannot do that for their master, for their friends.
Suffering in our Lives Today
We see lots of suffering in this world. Just every day we are bombarded with people who are suffering. Just last week, two instances, one person, different cities goes there and then kills three, four people and then killed himself and all that, then there was a trial going on about this drunk driver who killed the whole family, the three beautiful children and their father hearing the news on the way to the hospital, he even tried to jump out of the car to kill himself. He had that desire. So much suffering, so much pain, so much violence around us and suffering increases with human advancement and technological breakthrough. Was human suffering reduced? No. As you see people suffering around you, I hope that you may all learn to suffer with them.
Suffering as Christians
Jesus called us to do what? simple. Jesus called us to suffer with those who suffer. That’s what Jesus did. I don’t have any ambition, I don’t have any greed whatever. Just suffer with those who suffer, that’s the best thing you can do. All the disciples of Jesus Christ did many amazing things in life, they simply suffered with those who suffered and all of them were murdered. Let us not runaway from suffering by finger pointing at those who suffer. By doing that, you’re killing the spirit of that person. Don’t finger point at them. There is a way of avoiding suffering, running away from suffering. When the woman was caught in adultery, everybody pointed at her and then she just said, “First person who has no sin, cast the first stone”, they soon realized their own suffering, their own pain. Don’t finger point at those who suffer. In Buddhism, they have this thing about an arrow, when the arrow hits your body, it hurts, but when the second arrow hits the same spot, you don’t get hurt twice as much, but more than 10 times. Sometimes when we go through suffering, we blame ourselves and that is our second arrow. Other times, others will blame you and that needs a third area, that is not just 10 times 20 times but, hundred times more it hurts. As you are able to embrace the suffering of others, that’s suffering. Pain can be healed. Christians are those who suffer with those who suffer. That’s what it looks like. That’s what great Christians look like. I don’t know anything else. When I say great Christians, they are the ones who suffer with those who suffer. Very last thing. I wonder whether, that is what love is, right? Suffer with those who suffer. You know another word for love is compassion, right? compassionate. You know the word compassion comes from come and passion. Come is together, passion is suffering, in other words you suffered together. You suffer with that compassion that I believe is in love. Suffer with those who suffer.