“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:7-10) As we near the end of our journey to the cross, this passage from the epistle to the Hebrews offers us both a powerful image and a remarkable hope. First the image: ours is a Lord who does not avoid suffering but enters into it very much as we do, with loud cries and tears. The powerful one who is the “source of eternal salvation” (pretty sure it doesn’t get any stronger than that!) enters into our human struggles at the very weakest point! I don’t know about you, but one of my life goals is to avoid as much suffering as possible. The avoidance of all suffering is impossible of course, but there is another problem with that life goal. To avoid suffering is to avoid one of the most important places where we may encounter Jesus. And that leads us to our hope: isn’t it truly remarkable that when we suffer, we need never fear that we are alone in that difficult spot? What a wonder it is that the all-powerful one becomes weak so that we might have his strength when we are powerless to help ourselves! If you are suffering today, do not be afraid. Listen closely and you may hear the loud cries; open your eyes and you may behold the tear-streamed face of your brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is with you on the good days and especially on the bad ones.