Who do you turn to when you’re suffering? Maybe you’ve never really suffered yet, but the chances are in our world that’s bent out of shape by human sin, the hurts of our hearts, that you will have some suffering in this short life. So who do you turn to?
Suffering and trials can come in various forms (James 1:2). Suffering can come from the simple and blunt effects of living in a broken world that is shaped by sin. Suffering could also come to you personally as you know what it’s like to sin in your heart, against someone, against God, and to have that experience of “yuck” in your inner being that you just need cleansing from – and so you suffer in your own sin.
We all have experienced that to some extent, suffering not just because of sin, not as a consequence, but as an experience. This is the kind of suffering that God’s Old Testament people were experiencing that we saw on Sunday from the Book of Lamentations.
God’s people had inherited all the promises of God, they were God’s people, in God’s promised land, dwelling in God’s presence. All the promises of God had come true. But then, sin was still with them too – they had carried sin in their hearts wherever they went, and now they were suffering for it as God exiled them out of the Promised Land. So they sat, wallowing in sin and suffering, forsaken by God because they first forsook Him…
But here’s the good news, we know it as the gospel, and as we’ve seen in our Old Testament series – every page points to Jesus. The good news of Jesus is that He is the one who on that cross was exiled for us.
On the cross Jesus went to a place of God forsakenness, He went to Hell on that cross, so that we who turn to Him with trust don’t have to experience that form of suffering in sin forever. When Jesus heaved and cried out on that cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He cries out a lament of experiencing the judgment of sin, my sin, your sin.
Jesus is where the exile and Book of Lamentations ultimately points to. So in your suffering, in your sin, you can turn to Jesus and believe in the one who by his lament gave his life for you. You’re meant to lament to God, so now do so in Jesus name, amen.
Find us at 52 Hamlet St, Quarry Hill on Sundays, 10.30am in the Quarry Hill Hall, all are welcome!