This morning I said to the Lord something like “I don’t want to hurt you” and was astonished at the response. He said, “You can’t hurt me.”
The next thought was that Jesus bore all the pain of all sin for all time on the cross. It is finished. He who died for all sin can no longer be affected by it. If He feels pain, it is not because we have injured Him, but because we are injuring someone or ourselves and His pain is for us, not for Himself.
When opening today’s devotional reading, I was surprised that Chambers writes about ‘hurting’ Jesus with our unbelief and foolish questions. He begins with this conversation . . .
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:9)
Chambers says Philip expected that seeing God would be the revelation of a tremendous mystery, not the seeing of Jesus whom he knew. He also says that when Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, he was probably hurting Him. Chambers says, “If we are asking God to give us experiences, or if conscious experience is in the road, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus because they are not the questions of a child.” His implication is that lack of trust for Him feels the same for Him as I do when others don’t trust me. I am hurt, but I’m not hurting because they have a suspicious nature, but because I am offended.
Prior to the cross, Jesus may have experienced pre-crucifixion pain, but again, it would be for the sin of unbelief, not something like, “You don’t believe me and that really hurts me.”
I can’t find any Bible passages that indicate Jesus was in pain except at the cross. However, there are several verses about how my sinfulness affects the Holy Spirit:
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30) When I sin, I am forgetting who I belong to, and that makes Him sad.
But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. (Isaiah 63:10) My sin not only saddens God, but puts Him in the position of disciplining me so I can become obedient.
Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19) In context, this is describes the way I am supposed to live — in harmony with God rather than resisting Him and giving Him reason to feel sorrow because I have stifled His fire in my life.
Thinking that I cannot hurt Jesus should make me feel good, or at least less burdened about my sinfulness, but it has the opposite effect. I feel pain that I can resist Him, grieve or sadden Him, stifle or put out His fire in my life, all because I realize that any pain in the heart of God is for me, not for Himself.