Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mark in "one sitting" - Passing Time with Pain

This is the second in a series of interesting connections revealed from attempting to read the Gospel of Mark in one sitting.
Mark 14:35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.

Mark 15:23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.
The New Scofield Study Bible footnote states: "Wine and myrrh mixed together composed a stupefying drink which was sometimes given to those who were in great pain in suffering such as must be endured in crucifixion."

When I want to avoid something, I'm more likely to pray the hour won't come at all. When I know I must do something uncomfortable, I pray that the hour will come and pass quickly.
This reminded me of my son's birth. The nurses were telling me mid-morning that it looked like he would be born before lunch. As the pain increased I chose to have an epidural (pain killer). My son was born after 7:30pm.
In reading about Jesus refusing the pain killer, I wondered how often I pray for God to relieve my pain at the cost of extending my suffering. Yes, it is in suffering that we develop perseverance (Romans 5:3), but suffering itself is not the goal. Christ was wise enough not to ask for pain relief. He was willing to get it over with so that he could get to the purpose of the suffering.

The image of Christ I'm getting here is that he did not intend to wait for a more comfortable solution. Accomplishing God's work was a greater motivator than avoiding the pain.

1 comment:

Sally Ferguson said...

It's easy to forget that there's purpose in suffering. We live in a society that avoids pain at all costs. I am a part of that too. Paul said he wanted to know Christ's suffering (Philippians 3:10). I'm not sure I could agree with that...I would be running the opposite way!!

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

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