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When the Worst Thing Happens

Read Mark 15:16-20. He came in at the end of our evening worship meeting. He swore like a trooper. The Salvationists heard some words that night that would have been an education to them! I tried to placate him. He calmed down for a bit. But then he was off again. And as he made his way out of the doors, he turned and spat at me. I was shocked, but somehow God still gave me words of peace and calm to give him as he left us.

Being spat at is revolting. The lady at the dry cleaners who was tasked with cleaning my uniform almost refused to do so.

But spitting is just one of the appalling abuses that Jesus faces from the governor’s soldiers. They rough him up. They pretend to worship him. They mock him. The make a fake crown out of sharp thorns and press it into his skull. It’s horrible and humiliating and just reading it makes us want to turn our heads away.

But as Jesus suffers the ignominy of the soldiers’ abuse, he puts himself in the place of all human suffering. Whatever you have suffered in your life, Jesus has suffered it too. He can identify with the victims of bullying, with the person who is always mocked and put down in the workplace, with the victim of torture. He can walk alongside victims of abuse. He stands with the fearful and anxious, with those who look in terror at the future.

Jesus doesn’t offer a quick fix. But he is there with those who suffer. He is willing to take their pain on his shoulders. If you are suffering today, know that Jesus is there with you amid it all.

Think It Over

Think about the following:

•           Do you find it difficult to reach out to Jesus when you’re suffering? Why or why not?

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Rob Westwood-Payne

Hi - I'm Rob. I'm married to Gail and we have a handsome, cheeky cocker spaniel called Harley. I am a Christian leader, pastor and preacher. I am a Salvation Army officer leading a congregation in the south of England. I am a leadership and discipleship blogger and daily devotional podcast host.