We might hear it said over the premature death of someone. Cancer. A preventable accident. An act of violence. The suffering of hundreds, millions, at the hand of an overlord. Tragedy.
Which is to say, we can't find the meaning in it.
Or is it instead, full of meaning? Working an eternal work of God's glory within us as we wrestle with Him in our suffering. In our grief and loss. Our pain and sorrow.
King Soleman looked around his kingdom at all the suffering, the oppression, and pain, and declared there is nothing new under the sun. The world has known pain and suffering since its birth. Meaningless, meaningless. meaningless, he declared.
Or is it instead, full of meaning? Doesn't the way of the cross of Jesus Christ instead give life to our sufferings? The very opportunities God uses to encounter us. To meet us. To walk with us. To raise us up to new life in Christ.
About this time, the week before Christ's death on the cross, the disciples sensed it was coming. Something big. Really, really big.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
"23 Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to receive glory. 24 What I’m about to tell you is true. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves his life will lose it. But anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it and have eternal life.'"
by permission: www.freedigitalphotos.net
They'd witness God's great power, sat at the feet of their servant King Jesus, walked with him, talked with him.
Yet hours after Christ's death, it seemed senseless, and for naught.
Doubt, fear, anger rushed in to replace hope and faith in His teachings and His love.
Suddenly the really, really big thing seemed empty and hopeless.
Like Christ, we beg for our cups of suffering to pass from us.
And like Him, when we turn loose of our own will, our own life, He produces meaning.
He makes us live again.
He raises us up with Him.
And in this, is the mystery of the cross and the way of Christ.
And it's really really BIG. So big, it's hard to grasp.
For meditation in song, click the link: "Though You Slay Me" by David Crowder
May you find new meaning this week as you prepare for Easter and as you are reminded of Christ's suffering and atoning act upon the cross.