“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Matthew 26.38
This is more than a simple description of someone having a bad day. These words describe Jesus’ identification with the very bleakest moments of life. If you sometimes experience the onset of darkness - feelings of oppression or depression, in whatever form or scale - you can rest in the truth that Jesus understands. He has experienced it and knows to the utmost degree what it is that you are going through.
Realising that God himself, in human form, went through this is perhaps the first step to finding a way out. If he experienced this darkness, then it can’t be sinful or bad to have such thoughts or feelings. The passion of Jesus for us is a mystery. We reduce it to simple sentences such as, “Jesus died for our sins”, but it is so much more than this. It is about him experiencing the depth of feelings and despair that so many people feel. When he offers the path of healing, it is not a cliché to latch onto but rather the embrace of the one who has been to the deepest part of the pit with us and knows what it is like.
If any of this rings true for you, sit quietly in the presence of Jesus and be honest with him about how you are feeling. He understands and wants to help.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
8 Cambridge Court,
210 Shepherds Bush Road
London W6 7NJ
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