Read: Jeremiah 8:18-22
Since my people are crushed, I am crushed. (v. 21 NIV)
At the beginning of the pandemic, news broke in the United States that some civil servants were privately selling off stocks even while they publicly downplayed the magnitude of the impending crisis. Members of the public were outraged by the possibility that those with the greatest foreknowledge put their own interests ahead of their constituents.
At the start of his ministry, Jeremiah knew the nature and magnitude of his people’s impending crisis. Jeremiah could have simply used the information to make a successful escape. However, not only did Jeremiah faithfully stay among the doomed inhabitants of Jerusalem, he grieved what God’s people were about to suffer and suffered alongside them.
As chronic rebels against God’s way and violators of God’s will, we deserve to be abandoned to our suffering. Instead, God took on flesh and suffered with us. He even suffered for us. Isaiah, speaking prophetically of Jesus Christ, said, “He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). Our Lord identifies with our suffering and joins us in it. In turn, he invites us to join others who suffer. Rather than retreat into our own comfort, we follow the one who was crushed for our iniquities. Like Jeremiah, we mourn with those who mourn and hurt with those who hurt. Unlike Jeremiah, we know from where healing will eventually come. —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, trust that the one who was crushed will heal you and your world.
About the Author
Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.