Posted by: William | May 30, 2008

Seven Sayings – Chapter Five

For more information on this edition of Reading Classics Together, swing by Challies.com or pick up the book, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross by Arthur W. Pink.

This week in Seven Sayings, Pink explored Jesus’ declaration of thirst in John 19:28:

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ “

Pink spends a considerable time talking about the display of Christ’s humanity in the statement, “I thirst” as well as a considerable amount of time discussing the fulfillment of prophecy in his statement. But I thought what was most interesting was in his bringing up the idea that Jesus is not a priest who cannot relate to our own sufferings. It was the briefest of sections in the chapter, so I decided I’d just share the whole section.

The problem of suffering has ever been a perplexing one. Why should suffering be necessary in a world that is governed by a perfect God? A God who not only has the power to prevent evil, but who is love. Why should there be pain and wretchedness, sickness and death? As we look out on the world and take cognizance of its countless sufferers, we are bewildered. This world is but a vale of tears. A thin veneer of gaiety scarcely succeeds in hiding the drab facts of life. Philosophizing about the problem of suffering brings scant relief. After all our reasonings we ask, Does God see? Is there knowledge with the Most High? Does he really care? Like all questions, these must be taken to the cross. While they do not find there a complete answer, nevertheless they do meet that which satisfies the anxious heart. While the problem of suffering is not fully solved there, yet the cross does throw sufficient light upon it to relieve the tension. The cross shows us that God is not ignorant of our sorrows, for in the person of his Son he has himself “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4)! The cross shows us God is not unmindful of our distress and anguish, for becoming incarnate, he suffered himself! The cross tells us God is not indifferent to pain for in the Saviour he experienced it!

What then is the value of these facts? This: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted (or tried) like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Our Redeemer is not one so removed from us that he is unable to enter, sympathetically, into our sorrows, for he was himself “the Man of Sorrows”. Here then is comfort for the aching heart. No matter how despondent you maybe, no matter how rugged your path and sad your lot, you are invited to spread it all before the Lord Jesus and cast all your care upon him, knowing that “he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Is your body wracked with pain? So was his! Are you misunderstood, misjudged, misrepresented? So was he! Have those who are nearest and dearest turned away from you? They did from him! Are you in the darkness? So was he for three hours! “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest” (Heb. 2:17).

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