Summary: Is it possible for the Great Creator to suffer? Could He – the Most Delightful Being whom we can savor the unspeakable joy – suffer hardship, pain, or sorrow?
“For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:19-24, NIV).
Is it possible for the Great Creator to suffer? Could He – the Most Delightful Being whom we can savor the unspeakable joy – suffer hardship, pain, or sorrow?
Why would He suffer? Could He not sanitize Himself from every form of suffering?
And if ever He suffered, could we picture or grasp completely how He endured it?
Perhaps, it is unimaginable that the Sovereign Comforter would ever suffer. But if ever He would, it would also beyond our imagination to contemplate how a Great Being like Him would suffer! We should not try to level “His pain” with our own pain – in the same way that we would not dare to compare our wisdom with His wisdom or to compare our limited human ability or power with His Divine Awesome Power.
God as a Spirit Being is not subject to the physical pain or difficulty that we, human beings, could easily suffer.
But we read in John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (NIV). And in the first part of verse 14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. . . (NIV.)
The “Word” – who is Jesus Christ, was God (verse 1) and “became flesh…” (Though there are those who do not believe today that Jesus Christ is God, yet during the time of Christ, the Jews – though they refused to believe – clearly understood the claim of Christ Himself: “…you, being a man, MAKE YOURSELF GOD” [John 10:33]). As “Son of Man,” Jesus Christ was truly man. And as Son of God, He was God in the flesh – able to suffer what you and I could suffer.
Hebrews 2:17-18 states, “…he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (NIV).
Consider also the following Scriptures: 1 Peter 4:1 – “…Christ has suffered in the flesh…(NASU.) Acts 3:18 – Peter also said, “But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer” (NIV). Acts 17:2-3 – “As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead” (NIV; also Acts 26:23).