Good Friday Musings: Seven common types of emotional suffering Jesus endured.


Today is Good Friday. It is the day where we commemorate the crucifixion of our redeemer. We commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was slain to take away our sins. When we consider the day, usually our focus goes toward the immense physical pain he endured, suffering for our sins. We rarely take time to focus on another dimension of his suffering, the emotional suffering. In considering this day, seven common types of emotional suffering were identified in terms of what Jesus endured. So for this article will identify a type of emotional suffering and offer commentary about what Jesus suffered. This article will conclude with even looking at a type of emotional suffering Jesus suffered that was beyond our normal experience.

Stress: This is the most common type of emotional suffering, one that we all endure. There are multiple articles and suggestions on coping with stress. In the events of Passion Week, Jesus suffered stress more extensively than any other human. His stress started with his foreknowledge what must transpire. He entered into the events with full awareness of what he was about to endure. His stress level reached the point where in praying in preparation he reached a point where he sweated blood.

Betrayal: This is another common emotional suffering we endure. At some level we are all betrayed by someone we care about and trust. For Jesus and the events of Passion Week, Jesus faced total betrayal. It starts with Judas turning Jesus over to the Sanhedrin, yet the betrayal didn’t stop there. Peter also significantly betrayed him publically three times. The betrayals of Jesus exhibited by Judas and Peter actually cover the full range of types of betrayal we endure. Judas directly and aggressively betrayed Jesus to his face. Peter’s betrayals were passive and indirect. He did not betray Jesus to his face, but yet the betrayal was still there.

Abandonment: This type of suffering is pervasive and significant in many lives. Abandonment and the fear of abandonment is a big contributor significantly to psychological distress. It is different than betrayal because it is not an outright turning against one who previously stood alongside, but rather it is simply not being there when needed. It is a failure to have needs met. Jesus definitely experienced the full range of abandonment during Passion Week as well. It started with the disciples falling asleep when asked to watch and pray and continued with the disciples simply not sticking around during the events that transpired. He was not given the support He needed and was truly alone.

Rejection: There is something about being rejected that is at a core of a lot of human emotional suffering. We each have a desperate desire to be loved and accepted as we are and not be rejected. The rejections that come in life can add up and be a source of much psychological turmoil. In actuality, one can even view the assorted types of emotional distress and being one form or rejection or another. Jesus, in Passion Week faced ultimate rejection. He faced public rejection with the cries of “Crucify Him” and even had a murderer and rebel chosen over him to be released. He had the personal rejection occur on multiple levels throughout the course of the events of Passion Week. As the Bible points out, “He was despised and rejected of men.” (Isaiah 53:1)

Humiliation: Humiliation is something many people experience at one level or another with the result of a lot of psychological damage. Bullying and harassment are important issues in this day and age. No one likes to see anyone picked on or made fun of for any reason. Jesus faced an extensive amount of humiliation. He was brought down to the lowest possible level, with his claims being made a public spectacle.

Persecution: Persecution is essentially being tortured for something that you hold to and won’t let go of. It is essentially all forums of torture. Thankfully there are only a small percentage of people today who face direct persecution. Yet, many Christians and people readily given in to the more indirect types of persecution that call for compromise. Jesus during Passion Week faced extensive persecution. He was whipped to near death, he was hit, spat upon, had a crown of thorns jammed on his head, had to carry his cross and the ultimately was executed all because of his claim of being the Son of God, Messiah.

Injustice: The world is filled with injustice and we feel the effects of it daily. Yes, innocent are killed, guilty go free, evil prospers, good suffers, the blood of innocents is shed, and more. There is no end to the injustices in this world. Passion Week is the epitome of injustice. Jesus, who did no wrong, was executed alongside common criminals. Jesus was the ultimate shedding of innocent blood. Jesus deserved nothing and faced the totality of human emotional and physical suffering. He did so out of love, for you and me so that we may be redeemed and restored to relationship with the father. Any injustice you have felt, real or perceived pales to the injustice Jesus endured, all in order to bring Salvation.

Separation from God: Jesus endured one type of suffering none of us can grasp. He was in constant communion with God the Father. Yet, at the cross, that communion, that unity, that oneness was disconnected. This led to the agonizing cry “My God, my God why have you forsaken me!” None of us can grasp what Jesus suffered because we walk in continued separation. Even today with the infilling of the Holy Spirit we only grasp a taste of what Jesus had continually. The loss of that was excruciating and in reality was more than he could bear, leading to his physical death.

In summary, reflect on the emotional suffering Jesus endured along with the physical suffering in order that we may be brought away from separation from God and into fellowship with God. The reality is that if the events of Passion Week only brought one person into renewed fellowship with God, Jesus would have still endured it all. If you are reading this, and have not yet come to accept Jesus shedding of innocent blood in order that you may be redeemed, and agreed to accept the gift, the time is not too late, so find someone you know who has accepted this gift and ask them to help you.

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One Response

  1. […] God, spiritual suffering, suffering, surrender, True Peace, tryany of suffering | After posting an article on Good Friday  about the emotional suffering Jesus encountered during Passion Week, time was spent considering […]

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