by Joe Alain

How the Man of Sorrows Brings Joy
Joe Alain
Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 26:30, 36-46

What was a beautiful quiet spot at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle Washington on March 22, 2014 became a place of great tragedy when a rain-soaked hillside gave way killing at least 30 people. The search for the remains of those still missing continues as of today (4/6/14). The first funerals for the victims of this tragedy began yesterday. Such beauty in this mountain setting and yet such suffering.

The place where Jesus and the disciples gathered was called "Gethsemane" (v.36) which means "oil press." This tranquil garden spot on the slope of the Mount of Olives was a common place of retreat and prayer for Jesus. But this quiet spot would serve as the canvas to portray the dark and intense suffering of Jesus. It would be a place of great pressure, it marks the beginning of the sorrowful journey that would take Jesus to the cross. Yet through the "press," through the suffering and agony, Jesus would receive confirmation and strength for what lie ahead.

Jesus had predicted that all his disciples would be made to stumble on his account (v.31). Peter and the other disciples boasted that they would never forsake Jesus (v.35). But they made promises that they could not keep. They placed too much confidence in themselves but they too would face testing in the Garden. But where they would fail, Jesus would prevail! And because of Jesus suffered for our sin, He is able to bring joy in our times of suffering.

Life Application: Jesus is the man of sorrows who brings us joy in our suffering.

Suffering, the Common Human Experience
Suffering is the common human experience of all people. All of us have probably experienced some type of suffering, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. And if you haven't gone through suffering, be prepared because it's coming at some point in your life. I say that because suffering is the common human experie ...

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