Posted by Jimmy Spencer
I cried tonight in church. As I drove home, tears again began to roll down my face. Walking into my door, I broke down and wept on my couch.
It’s rare when I do cry. But tonight, on Good Friday, I was struck by all the suffering in our hearts, the suffering that I have felt in my heart – and through an amazing sermon from my pastor – I came to finally realize the suffering that Jesus endured on the cross, and the suffering that God endures.
My friend, Pastor Bret, and I spoke briefly before he gave his sermon. He made a simple, yet impactful statement: “We tend to rush to Easter and forget about the meaning of this day.”
Tonight, I mourned the loss of Jesus. I cried and questioned how we could treat the son of God so brutally, how we could treat anyone so brutally. Images of those who are suffering in this world were shown. I cried as I thought about times in my own life when I felt suffering. I cried again when I thought about the suffering of others.
“Jesus suffered for us.” I’d heard it my entire life, but until tonight, I don’t think I understood. He endures and he still endures. I feel so much of the purpose for us on Earth is so that we can learn to feel emotion in the way that God feels emotion. We are made in His likeness and we are learning to feel the way He feels.
We suffer, in the way Jesus suffered. In this, we endure pain together and are one. The fact that we do feel is proof enough in His existence and His presence in us all.
An added emotional moment in the night came through the playing of a secular song, Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis. It’s not a traditional Christian song by any means, but I hope you will listen to the song in the YouTube video posted below and read the lyrics posted with it.
My tears began to pour down as I heard this song in church tonight, as it has always been a special song to me and it was amazing that it was selected as the final of only two songs that night.
The timing made it even more remarkable. Three years ago – on Good Friday – my Mom underwent serious hysterectomy surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on her ovary. That morning in 2008, driving to San Francisco to be with her and my family for the surgery, I had listened multiple times to that same Leona Lewis song which I had just added on my iPod. I listened to it a lot that Easter weekend, and still it has always reminded me of that morning that my Mom had her surgery. It was a very scary time and we didn’t know what would happen. My Mom means everything to me, and I remember a moment standing in the halls of the hospital with my brother and my mind racing with what-ifs. I took time that weekend to pray at a church in San Francisco. I know God listened. To this day, my Mom is cancer free and healthy. I am so thankful for every day I get to spend with her and I thank God for what he did to heal her.
When that song played tonight, it served as a reminder of one of the most difficult times in my life. As it played, I was flooded with emotion and praise for God. In my tears, I felt a connection to the Holy Day and to the pain that God felt.
Good Friday never meant as much to me as it did tonight.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted. Continue reading