Friday, December 2, 2016

The answer to suffering

Dr. Peter Kreeft, taken from "The Case for Christ Study Bible," page 1618.

The answer to suffering is not an answer at all, for no simple answer can tell you what you need to know.  The hope is in the Answerer.  It's Jesus Himself. It's not a bunch of words; it's the Word. It's not a tightly woven philosophical argument; it's a person.  The person.  The answer to suffering cannot just be an abstract idea, because suffering isn't an abstract issue; it's a personal issue. It requires a personal response.  The answer must be someone, not just something, because the issue involves someone - God, where are you?

Jesus is there, sitting beside us in the lowest places of our lives.  Are we broken? He was broken, like bread, for us. Are we despised? He was despised and rejected of men.  Do we cry out that we can't take it anymore? He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  Do people betray us? He was sold out Himself. Are our most tender relationships broken? He too loved and was rejected. Do people turn from us? They hid their faces from Him as from a leper. Does He descend into all of our hells? Yes, He does. 

From the depths of a Nazi death camp, Corrie ten Boom wrote: "No matter how deep our darkness, He is deeper still." He not only rose from the dead, He changed the meaning of death and therefore the meaning of all the little deaths - the sufferings that anticipate death and make up parts of it. He is gassed in Auschwitz. He is sneered at in Soweto. He is mocked in Northern Ireland. He is enslaved in the Sudan. He's the one we love to hate, yet to us He has chosen to return love. Every tear we shed becomes His tear. He may not wipe them away yet, but He will.