Have you ever felt excruciating pain? I have. Several times. Most recently, a year ago, I was suffering with a bout of gout in my right wrist. My doctor told me that the accumulation of uric acid which causes gout is like tiny chards of glass. It was excruciatingly painful to do simple things like comb my hair or brush my teeth. At one point I thought, “Wow, I can’t imagine the pain that Jesus went through not just in one wrist, but both, as well as his feet, and the crown of thorns.”
The word “excruciating” actually is derived from crucifixion! So, next time that you are in pain, think of the pain that Jesus suffered on the cross for you and me.
The Via Dolorosa (the painful way) or La Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross)
Growing up Catholic, one of the yearly rituals was going to church and visiting each “Station of the Cross” — plaques depicting each stage of Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion.
The Traditional Stations of the Cross are:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus is given his cross
- Jesus falls the first time
- Jesus meets His mother
- Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the second time
- Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls the third time
- Jesus is stripped of His garments
- Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus dies on the cross
- Jesus’ body is removed from the cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.
Again, all four Gospels recount the story:
Why did Jesus have to die?
Different Kinds of Pain
There are different kinds of pain — physical pain like I felt with my gout which was just a fraction of what Jesus felt that day. Then there’s also the pain of losing a loved one. A dear friend of mine just lost his wife — not to COVID-19, but to illnesses that she’d been struggling with for years. I can’t imagine the pain he’s going through.
However, the pain relief comes on Resurrection Sunday when Jesus defeated death. For believers, in Heaven, there is no pain — only JOY! I know that my friend will be with his wife in heaven when he dies and I look forward to seeing her there to when I am called home. Heaven is our hope.
What will Heaven be Like?…
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”Revelation 21:1-4
Salvation is Available to All!
If you want the assurance of a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!