‘…Pilate…had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.’ Mark 15.15
The brutality of Jesus' flogging by the Roman soldiers has been well documented and portrayed. The sheer physical pain of this, followed by the even more excruciating pain of crucifixion, meant that Jesus was no stranger to physical suffering.
If you are sick it can be tempting to wonder if Jesus really understands, particularly as there is no record of him being ill, but he can certainly identify with the crippling pain felt by so many people. When you are sick the pain is imposed upon you, as was the physical pain suffered by Jesus.
It might be comforting to admit that Jesus understands whatever physical pain you are suffering - but there is far more. Jesus did not simply come as one who understands; he came to be a Saviour. It is by his wounds that we are healed, not just understood. There is something about his physical suffering that is the means of our healing.
As you spend time with Jesus now, hold your physical pain before him and speak these words to him: "You took up my infirmities, and bore my diseases." Try to see your pain upon his body. This is not something he offers to do for you - it is something he has already done.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission