Sorrow hung heavily, like a shroud, over my soul that day. It had become painful to push through each task at hand. That’s when Jesus broke through to me. Suddenly, I felt His gentle hands on my cheeks. He ever so tenderly tilted my gaze upwards as He held my face. My eyes saw His. They were full of pain. My pain. He was feeling my pain.
Mercifully, that troubling season has come and gone, but the truth of that moment remains with me. Jesus is here in our suffering. His emotions are wrapped up in our heartache. Walking through the pulsating, stabbing agony with us, He feels it more keenly, more sharply, more deeply, than we even do. He identifies with us so closely in our anguish that He calls us “My brothers.” When someone ministers to us, alleviating our distress, He experiences great personal relief. Through the sound waves of eternity, His voice cries out gratefully to that person, “As you have done it unto My brothers, so you have done it unto Me!”
Jesus does not stop with feeling and identifying with our grieved emotions. He responds to them. His indescribably profound compassion is inextricably woven into the flow of His power on our behalf. Specifically, as He is touched with the feeling of our afflictions, He channels His lion’s roar of passion into intercession on our behalf. He is our great Intercessor, gone through the heavens to make unceasing prayers on our behalf to the Father. Through this series, I will be unpacking both the principles of His own intercession and His invitation to us into partnership with Him as He stands in this role.
(Important note: Intercession does not need to be one of your main spiritual gifts for this series to relate to you. If you desire to know how to be a part of releasing Jesus’ power into your world to bring healing to its brokenness, read on!)
Soaring Joy and Searing Pain, Simultaneously?
If you have some understanding of how gloriously peaceful the heavenly places are, it may be confusing to think of Jesus as sorrowful. If the atmosphere around His throne is alive with joy inexpressible and resplendent with light more brilliant than the sun… then how could any sadness exist there? Especially since the book of Revelation tells us there is no weeping in Heaven?
I asked Him this exact question. In response, He breathed a Scripture from Isaiah into my spirit:
“For this is what the high and lofty One says — he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite’” (Isa. 57:15, NIV).
I began to understand. He lives in “a high and holy place” – which is Heaven – and with the lowly in spirit – here on fallen, dysfunctional Planet Earth. It’s not either/or. It’s both. He inhabits eternity, exulting in endless bliss… and He is right here in our mess, weeping with us. Because He is God, He has infinite capacity within Himself to experience all of this at once. He has room for joy inexpressible, full of glory and for the searing pain of unspeakable loss, simultaneously. It all fits within the immeasurable space of His exquisitely beautiful heart.
From the moment that Jesus stepped out of the eternal realm and into Mary’s womb, He brought fulfillment to the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. God had announced from before the beginning of time that the Savior’s name would be Immanuel, God with us. He came to take up residence in a human body. He came to walk in our sandals, to find out what all of our sorrows tasted like. He came to drink them to the last drop.
(To be continued tomorrow!)
Has Jesus suffered the same way as you have? Does He understand?