Continuous suffering?

So, Mr Darrell Johnson, in some lectures on John’s gospel, says that the resurrected Jesus continues to suffer.  Not only that Jesus suffered in death, but that he chooses to continue to suffer with us.  Like, here.  And now.

Perhaps I’m just slow, but I never, ever thought about it like that.  To the point where I’m like: “Is that right?”.  I mean, in some way I think I’ve always held that Jesus entered into our suffering, that he understands because he took on flesh etc and that therefore he can ‘sympathise with our weaknesses’ and all that.  But that he always did that from a place of shalom/wholeness/peace/it-is-finished-ness.  Not so much detached, but kind of distant.

But if Jesus still suffers as he chooses to continue to sympathise with our weakness etc, then that feels like a whole other kettle of fish.  It seems much closer to home, much closer to heart.  Its like, although he has gone through the pain of everything the cross signifies, through death and has experienced the joy of resurrection, the work is finished but the suffering isn’t over yet?  Its unbelieveable that after all that, Christ should choose to keep entering into our pain.

Maybe I really am ridiculously slow.  I mean, I have spoken of how God’s heart breaks over sin and suffering, but never really thought of that as HIS suffering.  Or just never felt it as close as this.

Well, Mr Johnson – are you right?  And if you’re right, what happens?  When does it stop?

Maybe he’s a heretic, or maybe I’m displaying my lack of understanding, but at least he said it first (!).  Can anyone else shed any light…?


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2 responses to “Continuous suffering?

  1. I can’t shed any light on whether it’s right or wrong (though I’d be very interested if anyone can) but it does help to make a bit more sense of one or two thorny things. Namely, the issues of suffering and judgement: often my own laments to God are about the fact that he seems so detached from my real suffering down here – I am crying about a friend’s miscarraige, or I am heartbroken over a friend who rejects Christ. Christ remembers what it feels like to feel that, but right now, he’s in bliss in heaven, so the burden is all mine, in a sense (I’m aware there are probably about 9000 heresies in there, but that’s just my description of my feelings around it!).
    This idea that you’ve described means that actually he grieves with me RIGHT NOW, not just in retrospect. That makes it much harder for me to sinfully accuse him of indifference. It also makes the question of why He let the fall happen less painful, because he is living all the pain of the fall in real time too, so there’s no sense of leaving us to it. I know the cross means that was never the case, but this does add a whole new dimension to it…
    Sorry, didn’t mean to write an essay, but it’s touching on a lot of things that have been buzzing loudly in my mind for a long time! I hope you get some more responses on this…

  2. Pingback: Attempting to describe comfort « my small corner

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