I will gladly rejoice because of Your gracious love
because You recognized the sadness of my affliction.
You felt deep compassion when You saw the pains of my soul.
You did not hand me over to the enemy,
but instead, You liberated me
and made me secure in a good and spacious land.
(Psalm 31:7-8 The Voice)
There’s a difference between sympathy and compassion.
Sympathy says, “Aw, you poor thing. That’s too bad. You really have it hard. But I guess it is what it is.”
Compassion says, “I see your pain. I know it’s hard, but I will walk with you until you see “the instead.”
Jesus Christ goes beyond powerless sympathy. He has suffered everything we have and knows what it feels like, but he goes beyond sympathy to compassion that brings us into wide open meadows of freedom.
He came to set the captives free, not to merely sympathize with their pain.