That was the headline for a piece on BBC iWonder this morning. 

Apparently "Research has shown that people who suffer the pain of losing a loved one can experience similar physical pain as someone touching a hot probe!"

The article interestingly goes on to say that people who experience the distress of a relationship ending can suffer heart failure "...broken heart syndrome – also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy" (Try saying that whilst in a state of distress!) This is partially because of the intensity of the dopamine released in the brain when you fall in love. 

None of this should surprise us because God is love (1 John 4:8). That's why we love. Because we are created in his image. The God who is perfect loving relationship in eternity. Father, Son and Spirit loving one another with an intensity, passion and commitment that dopamine could never produce!

It's why time and time again the Bible talks about God's grief and sadness at our failure to love him. It uses relational terms to describe sin. It the book of Hosea the LORD is presented as a husband whose wife doesn't love him. Who, despite all his best efforts to love her, is ignored and repeatedly left for other men. "...Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods..." (Hosea 3:1).

Jesus died of a broken heart. Because on the cross he experienced for the first time what is was to be not loved by His Father in heaven. He became sin for us. He took upon himself all that our lack of love deserved. All that our selfishness and hate was due from God. God the Son bore God's righteous anger in our place. That's why he cries out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:33).

We will never fully grasp the love of God shown for us at the cross, unless we see past the nails and wounds, to the true pain of a broken heart.

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