HE WAS DESPISED and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity.
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
Isaiah 53:3-5 (NRSV)
THERE IS GOOD biblical evidence that God not only suffered in Christ, but that God in Christ suffers with his people still.
It is wonderful that we may share in Christ's sufferings; it is more wonderful still that he shares in ours.
John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ
HAS NOT GOD in Jesus Christ become radically open to the life of the world and become vulnerable to human sin and suffering? In the light of the gospel story, God is not impassible, but passionate, suffering love. If God is love, then receptivity, vulnerability, and suffering are not strange to God's being. God is free to love and thus free to experience the suffering of the world.
Daniel L. Migliore, The Power of God
UNLESS GOD is on the balance and throws his weight as a counterbalance, we shall sink to the bottom of the scale. If it is not true that God died for us, but only a man died, we are lost. But if God's death and God lie dead in the opposite scale, then his side goes down and we go upward like a light or empty pan. But he could not have sat in the pan unless he became a man like us, so that it could be said: God dead, God's passion, God's blood, God's death.
Martin Luther, quoted in the Formula of Concord
IT IS A GOOD THING to learn early that God and suffering are not opposites but rather one and the same thing and necessarily so; for me, the idea that God himself suffers is far and away the most convincing piece of Christian doctrine.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
GOD not only participates in our suffering, but also makes our suffering into his own and takes death into his life.
Jurgen Moltmann, in Theology Today
A THEOLOGY that embraces the idea that God cannot suffer has to answer the question: Can God love? Abraham Heschel rightly said that the essence of Hebraic prophetic faith is that God takes the people of his covenantal love so seriously that he suffers for their actions.
Dennis Ngien, in Christianity Today
GRANT, O LORD, that in your wounds I may find my safety, in your stripes my cure, in your pain my peace, in your Cross my victory, in your Resurrection my triumph, and a crown of righteousness in the glories of your eternal kingdom.
Jeremy Taylor, The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers
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Other Lent, Holy Week, and Easter reflections include:
Lenten Inventory (February 1, 2004)
His Body, His Blood (June 2005)
Good Friday (April 3, 2000)
Jesus' Cross (March 1, 2004)
Crucifixion (March 11, 2002)
Holy Week (April 1, 2006)
Holy Week (April 23, 2001)
Cross and Resurrection (April 1, 2003)
Easter Sunday (April 3, 2000)
He is Risen (April 1, 2004)
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