Have you ever been in a situation that was so unbearable and you endured to the point where you just didn’t care what happens next? We’ve all used the expression, ‘I couldn’t care less’ meaning we’ve come to a certain end, to an empty place where feelings cannot be any less than what they are.
Hopeless people like those imprisoned for life have been known to risk escaping at all costs – mentally drained, inside they are already dead and feel they have nothing else to lose.
How inexplicable it must feel when you know you’ve done your very best, and yet you are still rejected and imprisoned through no fault of your own. Imagine how Jesus Christ must have felt as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. First of all He had laid aside His deity to come and dwell among mankind (John 1:14).
With all the miracles, signs and wonders He performed, He was still rejected among men – even more so in His hometown of Nazareth. He was sinless and yet here He was now facing the inevitability of the cross. At that point we probably could surmise that He could not hurt any more albeit the cruel and brutal punishment; the slow agonizing death at the hands of the Romans awaited Him. For the purpose of being free, a prison escapee will die trying. For the purpose of freeing mankind Jesus was willing to sacrifice His life no matter the cost.
In both cases, with that driving passion, what could hurt more? Well there is something – the eternal consequence of obedience and disobedience. However, in the natural there is a peculiar mindset at the critical point of no return. In the garden Jesus prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ Jesus suffered through His obedience even to the extent of the anguish of separation from God as He cried out on the cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ [Matt. 27:46] Jesus was confirming His deity (Ps. 22:1), while at the same time ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ [2 Cor. 5:21]. Now if Jesus suffered all that He did through obedience, what is the hope of the disobedient? God’s grace answers the question, but for how long? Could Jesus be more hurt? Yes! Could we care any less? I don’t think so! It seems we care the least even today as we continue to reject Him individually and collectively, in our homes and throughout the land. Yet He continues to show mercy and share in our suffering. He still cares.
However, time is on His side, not ours. In his poem called ‘Retribution’ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writes, ‘Though the mills of God grind slowly; Yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience he stands waiting, With exactness grinds he all.’ There’ll come a time when Jesus will not suffer with us anymore.
Scripture says, ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.’ [2 Pet. 3:9,10] All scripture was taken from the NIV.