In what ways could the Lord experience pain in a sinless body?

In what ways could the Lord experience pain in a sinless body?

Clearly, the Lord suffered for sin (1 Peter 3:18) in His holy body. Because He relied on divine protection and was morally perfect, He had no inward walls of self-protection. His experience of physical pain from the time of His arrest through His death was thus heightened. He suffered more than any other who experienced the same maltreatment. Further, His holy soul grieved deeply over the ravages of man’s sinfulness expressed in those events. That caused emotional pain beyond our comprehension, because we share in that sinfulness. The source of those pains was external and sinfully intentional.

In other ways, He was preserved from suffering. Psalm 91 promises protection for those who know the secret place of communion with God (vv 1, 2). The Lord counted on angels to preserve Him from injuring Himself, "lest Thou strike Thy foot against a stone" (Psalm 91:12). He trusted divine care to preserve Him from calamity: "There shall no evil befall thee" (v. 10). This did not, however, exempt Him from pain before His arrest. In Gethsemane, as at the grave of Lazarus, He experienced extreme emotional pain (Mark 14:33, 34; John 11:33). In addition, He was hungry (Luke 4:2), weary (John 4:6), and thirsty (19:28), all of which imply that His body communicated some degree of discomfort due to physical needs.

Peter observed that the multitudes surrounding the Lord both closed Him in and pressed upon Him (Luke 8:45, JND). Did His omniscience make it impossible for someone to accidentally step on His foot? Did He ever use His omniscience to protect Himself?

Adam didn’t have omniscience, but he lived in a sinless body. Is it inconceivable that a bear could step on Adam’s foot in paradise? Without laboring in the realm of the hypothetical, the point is that pain is not necessarily a foreign intruder due to sin. The Lord never mistakenly caused pain to others, but He used pain to remove animals from the temple (John 2:15). Pain can be a friend that expresses the body’s legitimate needs.

We can conclude with caution and reverence that, even apart from the results of sin, He experienced bodily pain. The cause of His pain was both external and internal, intentional and potentially unintentional.

D. Oliver