God in Human Miseries. Vol.2, No.25

Ordinarily, people do offer to suffer for others, for their nation or for a cause. When humanity fell in Adam, God could not have written it off as a failure. But he decided out of love to go for its redemption. No wonder Christ chose to become historically human, as he was made flesh that dwelt among us. (Jn. 1:1-4). Thereby sharing in the cultural, linguistic, political, social, transcendental and other eschatological characteristics of humanity. The scripture expresses this fact by saying that Christ was like us in all things (except sin, Heb. 4:15). This means that he shares in the ontology of our humanness with all its expectations, worries and contingencies. He knows the poverty of human flesh: its weakness, hunger, thirst, and tiredness because he was surrounded by the predicament of humanity. He lived out its deficiencies; anger, sorrow and pain, even its disintegration in death. He equally enjoyed the consolation of the human heart: love, joy, friendship, sympathy, merry-making and conviviality. He suffered in life. He also enjoyed life. But it seemed he was more engaged with the negative aspects of the human condition.
This active involvement of God-man in human miseries was well reflected by process philosophers and theologians who gave a descriptive transformation of humanity; of nature, and of the entire cosmos. This Christological description is predicated on the fact that for Alfred North whitehead, a profound process philosopher, God is the fellow sufferer who understands. This is because in the words of another scholar, Ulrich Eibach, a God who cannot suffer cannot be close to the suffering creature. For Jurgen Moltman, the one who cannot suffer, cannot love either. In the same vain, John Macquarrie concludes that a God of love is inevitably venerable for there is no love that does not suffer. Hence, love entais suffering, because it involves the lover into doing not what he or she likes, but what the beloved needs. Now, between a fellow sufferer who understands’ and a sort of an apathetic alien who couldn’t careless’ the Dominican, Michael Dodds whould choose the former, an understanding fellow sufferer. One who suffers with me will understand my predicament much better than one who does not see what I see. Besides, only a fellow sufferer has a first hand knowledge and only he or she can get deep into my suffering condition. This fellow sufferer is the Christian God of Revelation verified on the cross. The cross showed God everything. Likewise, in the cross, God showed humanity everything about suffering. Above all, on the cross, it was consummated, accomplished and our suffering became a realized escarthology. Therefore, we ought to end this December series by discussing suffering with love. .

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