Tag Archives: Christ’s suffering

Sleep on Now- The Loneliness of Depression

I took a week off of work and stayed with my sister. Depression had gripped me so tightly that I could not breathe. I just wanted the pain to be over. It was good to have this time off, but I didn’t get better. In fact, I might have just realized how bad it really is.

This depression has been so thick, so debilitating, so all-consuming that I have related to how Job felt and how Christ must have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. I don’t really know what they went through. I have no idea. But I believe it took them to their limits, and this depression has taken me to mine.

During this difficult time, I could feel my friends becoming less able to be there for me. I knew I was sliding into a dark place that no one could really understand. But I hoped that I could still feel them on the other side of the darkness. I knew they couldn’t be with me, but I hoped I wouldn’t feel like they left me.

It makes me think of Christ in the Garden of Gethsamane. He asked his closest friends to stay with him, to pray with him. He told them that his soul was “exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” They knew he wasn’t okay, but they fell asleep anyway. And when he wanted them to be there for him, when he went back to see if they were still there, they were asleep. And in the agony of loneliness and pain, he asked, “could ye not watch with me one hour?” I understand that question. I understand that loneliness, but I probably would have slept too…

The human body can only do so much. I think of what Christ said, “The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Humans can only do so much. No matter how bad your friend is hurting, sometimes you physically cannot be there for them. That doesn’t say anything about how much you love them. It just is evidence of our human weakness. And like Christ, I have come to understand that sometimes my friends just aren’t capable of being there for me in my greatest struggles.

I don’t think I know what Christ went through. He suffered pain and emotional anguish that I cannot even imagine. But I do know that because of that, he understands. He understands when my friends can’t be there for me. He understands my begging for any other way. He understands the agony and pleading for the end of the pain. And because he understands, I am not alone. God is always just a prayer away.

So I too can say to my friends, “sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough.”

Christ’s Suffering

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.