3 - Jesus and Negative Emotions

Bring Your Emotions to the Cross


Experiencing negative emotions is part of being human, and as with everything else in life, the Lord wants to comfort and guide us through them. In this final session, we will study Jesus who experienced every type of human emotion and showed us how to appropriately experience and express them.  



Since in His incarnation Jesus is fully human, he experienced the full emotional life in a fallen world. He is a picture of humanity at its best.   

Have you ever thought of Jesus as being emotional? Why or why not?
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Does Jesus as emotional bring you any comfort at all? Do you wrestle with that idea at all? Why or why not?
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Eric described Jesus as “emotionally appropriate.” He was kind and gentle when He needed to be, He got angry at injustice, He was sorrowful when Lazarus died, and He was anxious the night before His death. Isaiah 53:1–4 teaches us that Jesus was acquainted even with suffering, grief, and pain.  

Isaiah 53:1-4 (ESV)

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men;

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


John 11:32-36 (ESV)

32Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.34And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”35 Jesus wept.36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Eric said that even uncomfortable negative emotions are actually quite fitting in a fallen world. In what ways do you see fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and other negative emotions as fitting in our world?
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Matthew 26:36-39 (ESV)

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”37And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”39And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



Eric referenced Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He said Jesus is our model when it comes to praying in our sadness. In essence, Jesus said to God, “Take this from me! This is really hard.”  

Do you feel that kind of honesty before God? Share at time when you have cried out to God for Him to deliver you from something difficult. Are you crying out to Him today for anything?
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Eric reminded us that though Jesus expressed great anguish before God, He also expressed His full trust in His Father. In the Garden, Jesus said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours. I give all of My emotion to You. You are my Father. I’m going to trust You.” 

How often do you say prayers like this one?
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What is scary or unsettling about praying the kind of prayer Jesus prayed? Is there an area of your life currently where you need to pray this prayer? If so, what fear do you have?
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One of the great things about Jesus is that, at the very same time, He fully felt His emotions and also fully trusted God. The same can be true for you! Though you will never be perfect like Jesus, you can grow in your trust of God even as you go through emotional highs and lows.  

Take some time now to pray through your emotions. What are you feeling? Where is God in your life? What do you hope for now and into your future?
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God calls you to bring all of your emotions to the cross and allow Christ, who suffered and died there for us, to comfort and console you. 


To find out more about the Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.