We talk about Christ’s suffering in terms of blood, the cross, and death. But in reality, Christ’s suffering was our own suffering.
I have often thought about the scripture that says Christ bled from every pore in the garden of Gethsemane. I used to think that that bleeding was Christ’s suffering. That Christ’s blood was the price of our sins and that through His blood He atoned for our sins. Now though, I realize that it is so much more than that.
Christ didn’t just suffer by bleeding. I have come to realize that bleeding may not have been part of the suffering at all. Jesus bled because the suffering was so great that it caused him to essentially sweat blood. The blood was not the pain he endured, but rather a way for his body to release the pain he was enduring.
For example, if you scrape your knee, the bleeding itself doesn’t hurt- the scrape is what hurts. It’s not bleeding that causes pain, but rather the pain or injury that causes the bleeding. That’s why sometimes people can be bleeding and not even realize it- because we don’t feel the pain from the bleeding itself.
So, considering that, it’s easier for me to realize that Christ really did suffer for me. His suffering wasn’t a price of blood that was paid one drop per sin or sorrow. His suffering was actually the experience of my suffering. He suffered for me in a way that only God can. And because that suffering- the suffering to understand the pains and sins of every human being -was so great, His body bled to cope with the pain that He felt.
Christ didn’t just bleed and die for me. He suffered for me. He suffered to understand me. He experienced my pains and sorrows so that He could know what I go through and so He could know how to comfort me. And because He suffered for me, I don’t have to suffer like He did. I can be comforted through Him and know that I will never be alone as He was because He is always willing to be there with me. And when I fall into the depth of despair, I know that He understands and will weep with me and rejoice with me when my trials are over.