There are good dentists, and there are bad dentists. I knew that I had a bad dentist when the anesthesia wore off thirty minutes into a two hour procedure. I was having all four wisdom teeth removed. Without any medication to keep the pain in check, I felt every yank and tug on those four teeth; they did not want to come out easily. It was a long hour and a half of agony.
A few days afterward, I realized that as bad as that pain had been (and let me tell you, it was bad), it was nothing compared to the agony that our Savior experienced when He died on the cross. In the hours leading up to the crucifixion, Jesus was scourged, beaten, and abused. He was viciously mocked and denied by His closest friends. During the crucifixion, He experienced great physical pain, shock, and agony.
But His suffering didn’t end with the physical torment; it extended to the spiritual as well. Jesus Christ took the weight of our sins– the sins of the entire world– upon Him. All of this culminated in that one horrible instant when God the Father turned away from His only begotten Son.
Why would Jesus take all of that physical agony and spiritual torment upon Himself? It’s simple – because He loved us. He loved us so much that He willingly endured all of that pain so that we could experience salvation and have a home in heaven.
So many blessings and so much comfort comes from that simple truth. When God asks us to take a step of faith and trust Him, it is because He has our best interests in mind. When God reveals to us that something is wrong and we should stay away from it, it’s not because He’s a bully. It is because He loves us and knows that habit or activity will harm us. We don’t have to fear the trials and tribulations of this life because God’s love for us will never waver or cease.
The next time you feel emotionally depressed or afraid of obeying God, remind yourself of His great love for you. He has your best interests at heart. He proved it by suffering so much more than we could ever imagine.
Devotional by Pastor C.J. Armstrong