this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
John 16:33 NIV
Good Friday is a day when we tend to focus on the suffering Jesus endured. And it’s an opportunity to remember the importance of the cross in our times of struggle. When we go through traumatic events, are hurt by others, or walk through dark valleys, we can feel like we’re walking alone. But the cross reminds us that we have a God who understands. Jesus walked through suffering too. He was betrayed by a friend, had to walk a path that He didn’t want to, was mocked by crowds of people, and faced death on the cross. The Bible tells us that Jesus even felt abandoned by God: ‘Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” This means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”’ (Matthew 27:46). Whatever we’re facing, we can know that Jesus understands. We’re not left to struggle on our own. We have a God who walks every step with us. The psalmist wrote: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me’ (Psalm 23:4 NIV) and in Deuteronomy it says, ‘the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you’ (31:6 NIV). It’s also important to remember that the cross we’re focusing on is empty. Jesus’ death wasn’t the end. God raised Him back to life again. And now we can have hope for the future, even if we have to walk through suffering right now. Whatever we’re going through, we can know that Jesus has already overcome. He said: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ So let’s ‘take heart’ and remember that the cross is empty. We have hope because He has overcome. What Now? Listen to ‘Another in the Fire’ by Hillsong United. Thank God that He walks through suffering with you.