Lent Reading: Mark 14: 1-15:47
We take the journey of Lent to grow. In our faith is the belief that suffering is something that may be learned from, can be embraced and become profoundly significant. Granted, Lenten ‘suffering’ is minor. The giving up of coffee, meat, chocolate is trivial in the spectrum of challenges. Yet, did you learn something? Did it provide new insight or a fresh focus?
This perspective emerges from the suffering of our Lord. In this week’s Lent reading Jesus endures betrayal, abandonment, beatings, sorrow, loneliness, wrongful conviction, mockery, crucifixion. Isaiah’s prophecy rings so true, “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus knows intimately the journey of suffering. It is impossible to see how such brutality could be ever be considered good. Yet even through the viciousness of the cross, and the darkness of death, God’s good triumphs. The Cross and Resurrection teach the faithful all things, even suffering, can be transformed by the life-giving power of God.
Suffering can be unrelenting, lonely, crippling, chaotic. We may wonder if anyone cares or notices. Without reservation Jesus’ journey declares God does. He is far more familiar with our pain then we may ever know. Into our suffering God brings resurrection hope. Even, especially, here our great God can bring good.