No one likes to suffer and most of us do whatever we can to avoid it; but no one can side-step the inevitable. Every day in this fallen world, creatures must die so other creatures can live. Suffering is an integral part of life by death and a normal part of the human condition. Life is never easy and the harder and longer we fight against the inevitability of death, the more suffering we endure. Agony is found in the deep throes of the common war those living have declared upon death. The strong survive longer but everyone born is born to die.
Many choose to hide their suffering; out of fear of appearing weak and vulnerable to attack, by those seeking their livelihood in a world that functions by the law of kill to eat. Bolstering their pride, they even deny themselves the full acknowledgement of their personal suffering; and seek comfort in telling themselves that their suffering isn’t as bad as the suffering of others. It’s common to say that there is always someone worse off and enduring greater suffering than what we have to endure. However, somewhere at some time, there must be that someone who suffered the most; an unenviable someone, who experienced more agony than anyone else.
Jesus is the Man remembered most for His suffering crucifixion on the cross. He died an agonizing, unjustified death but He also, lived a life of suffering. Jesus bore the societal shame of illegitimacy and lived in poverty, without the privilege of education or choice of profession. The life chosen for Jesus, the Son of Man was the life lived before him by his step-father Joseph. When Jesus chose to follow instead, in the footsteps of His Heavenly Father, in obedience to His purpose for Him, He knew homelessness, persecution, and wrongful imprisonment that ended in public humiliation, beatings, and execution. Jesus as the Son of Man lived a life of sorrow and suffered in every way that a human being can suffer. Jesus the Son of God came to earth in the form of a man to endure all that human beings endure and because of His sinless righteousness, Jesus is the One who suffered most.
Jesus bore His suffering by the joy of His righteousness and didn’t succumb, as all others, to death; but instead, conquered it to rise and live again. Jesus didn’t live according to the law of kill to eat, that law enacted under the rule of death. Jesus lived instead, according to every Word proceeding from His Father. He chose to nourish Himself on spiritual bread and instead of sacrificing other lives to live, Jesus offered His body as bread and His blood as wine. He offered His life so, others might learn to live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. His sacrifice ended the need for all other sacrifice because His obedience made Him a pure sacrifice that satisfied His Father’s rightful anger and assuaged His wrath. This is how Jesus conquered death and became the open Door between God and man. By laying down His life He satisfied the call of righteousness for justice!
Jesus remains that open door, gathering in all who belong to Him. When their full number is reached, the door will close and the rule of sin and death will come to a violent end. There will be joy for the saints but woe to the earth on the LORD’s Day! When man’s rebellious rule of man-over-man ends, Jesus will return and establish His rule and reign on the earth for 1,000 years, in a Kingdom characterized by His righteousness. The One who suffered most is the One who will end all suffering, in that better world to come. A new world, without sorrow, pain, and tears, where death will die! Joy will resound in full-throttle rejoicing when the war with sin and death is won!