From Diane Butler Bass–
I am a writer. I choose prepositions carefully. There is a huge difference between for and with. For is a preposition of distance, a word that indicates exchange or favor, it implies function or purpose. I do something for you; you do something for me. Notice: someone does something on behalf of or in another’s place. For is a contract. Jesus suffered for us–means that Jesus did something on our behalf, he acted on behalf of a purpose, in place of someone else. For always separates the actor and recipient, distancing a sacrificial Jesus from those for whom he died. At the Cross, Jesus is the subject; we are objects.
By way of contrast, with is a preposition of relationship, implying accompaniment, or moving in the same direction. Rather than something done for you, with makes you participate in the action or transaction. With is the preposition of empathy, of sympathy, of being on the same side, of close association, of companionship. “No, you needn’t go for me; I’ll go with you.” With is about joining in, being together.
For or with? Contract or relationship? Exchange or participation? Quid pro quo or friendship?
How does Jesus’ suffering connect with your own? Is his story something carried out so that you don’t have to do it or cannot do it? Or is his journey one that accompanies your own?
You can read the full meditation at The Huffington Post.