What price heaven? suffering



Dear Reader, the road to the cross is not for the faint of heart. Reflecting on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus is hard, but how can we come into a closer relationship with Him if we don’t dig a little deeper? Let us go on this difficult, but necessary, journey together.

Our annual Friends and Family Tea is always a delightful mix of people and conversations. Last year’s included a doozie. Like battle-worn soldiers, three guests and I compared our recent knee-replacement experiences, and our scars.


What is that about? Why does it seem that when people get together, we like to chat about our latest “war wounds”? Is it because in some weird way physical suffering confirms that we’re alive?

Truth be told, Dear Reader, I’ve never encountered anyone who has been wracked by completely debilitating pain. I’ve read and seen a few accounts, but I am weak-hearted. (Mama would testify to that; none of her urging convinced me that nursing was my best career path.)

Maybe it’s that aversion to pain and suffering that makes me want to skirt past the passion of Christ to His resurrection. Nevertheless, I’m making a different choice this Lent.

It finally occured to me that I don’t love Tom or the kids less because I know the good, the bad, AND the ugly about them. Don’t I want to draw closer to the One I claim as Savior, even if it means learning more about the ugly?

Then Pilate laid open Jesus’ back with a leaded whip…
​John 19:1 TLB


It only took a little study to get a disturbing grasp on the torment of being whipped, or scourged, by a Roman soldier. Don’t worry, Dear Reader, we’re not going to go into the graphic details. Can we agree that the physical suffering inflicted on Jesus is probably greater than any we can imagine?

But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him–our sins! MSG
He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed!​  TLB
​Isaiah 53: 5

I don’t know which is harder to understand, the brutality of the soldiers, or Jesus’s choice to suffer such agony. How can I respond to His choice with less than humility and compassion? Does my spirit reflect praise and thanksgiving for our Savior’s choice to pay the price of heaven through His suffering for me?



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