From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: How do we know that Jesus understands our suffering? He is God and can overcome anything, right? – H.S.
A: God did not exclude himself from human suffering. He became man – the Person of Christ – and shared with us all there is to share. Philip Yancey wrote, “God does not, in the comfortable surroundings of heaven, turn a deaf ear to the sounds of suffering on this groaning planet.”
Jesus’ life was in peril from His first cry. The most illustrious child ever born was hated by many while He lay in a manger, helpless to defend Himself. We don’t know much about His life as a child, but we do know that He lived with the knowledge of His destiny. His entire life was one of humiliation. He came not as a conquering king, but as a humble servant.
When He was an adult, the leaders were suspicious of this carpenter from Nazareth, because He was a threat to them. They scorned Him and treated Him with contempt. They said He broke God’s law, that He was an unholy person, a drunkard, and one who made friends with the scum of society. He had the label of guilt by association stamped upon Him by self-righteous men.
Many people reacted violently to Him. At the beginning of His ministry, His own townsfolk at Nazareth tried to throw Him off a cliff (see Luke 4:29). Religious and political leaders often conspired to seize and kill Him. And yet He healed the sick, fed the hungry, loved the unloved, taught the ignorant, and worked miracles among the multitudes. Ultimately, He was arrested and brought to trial before Pilate and Herod. Though innocent, He was denounced as an enemy of God and man. The frenzied mob incited the religious leaders and cried, “Crucify Him!” No other has ever suffered the way Jesus suffered, and He did for mankind – and He lives today!
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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