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The song “New Again” by Brad Paisley and Sara Evans explores how Jesus might have prepared His mother, Mary, for His crucifixion. The chorus moves me every time: “Whatever happens, whatever you see, whatever your eyes tell you has become of me, this is not, is not the end. I am making all things new again.”

When I consider how Jesus suffered before and during his crucifixion, one aspect of that suffering I tend to overlook is the suffering He must have felt thinking of the suffering that was coming to those He loved. It had to hurt Him to think of His mother, and His friends, seeing Him on that cross.

As Christians, sometimes we face opportunities to further the Kingdom of God that might bring suffering to those near to us — whether the suffering is as severe as a child’s whose mother is imprisoned for being a Christian or the suffering is as minor as the unhappiness of a spouse who doesn’t understand our decision to attend church. Whenever we see our service to God causing those we love to suffer, it’s hard. But we can draw encouragement from knowing our Savior passed this test, too, and we can find an answer in His example: His response was to cover those who loved Him with prayer (see John 17).

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15, NIV.

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