Suffering.

What does the word even mean?
We see it, and our hearts immediately lay heavy.
Its not something we like to think about.
Whether our own, or someone elses.
It just isn’t pleasant.

Over the past couple of weeks, the youth and I have been discussing the events leading to the crucifixion.

Last week, Pilate’s failure to find any fault in Christ.
And ultimately his failure to make a stand for the truth.
(Though, of course we know that he had to take the position that he did in order for the blood to be shed for the remission of sin)
And personally, how not making a decision, or riding the fence, is actually a decision.
Not deciding to follow Christ is well equated with rejecting Him.

This week, we looked at what was going on around the cross.
The people, the activities, the thoughts…
What a place to be!
Contextually, a place of sadistic entertainment.
Not unlike people gathering in town squares to view a hanging.

Soldiers gambling for the garments.
Family members mourning.
A single friend in attendance pledging to care for a lonely mother.
Somewhere a secret disciple worrying himself over the idea of laying the Savior in his tomb.
And a dozen of the closest friends imaginable, scattered.
No where to be found.

How hard it must have been for those who cared.
Its never easy to see someone you love pass away.
Its never easy to see someone you love suffer any kind of pain.
Physical, emotional, spiritual.
A family member battling cancer…
A friend just getting out of a bad relationship…
A brother struggling with God’s purpose for his life…

And here Jesus is suffering all three in ways we can’t even begin to grasp.
All our pain and heartache, He bore it.
Our sins upon His back.

Lets get personal with this.

Where would YOU have been?
What would have been YOUR stand?
Would YOU be willing to suffer for others?
Or for your Lord?

Sadly, I think many of us would have gone the way of Pilate and the disciples.
Yes, we know the truth.
And we plainly and obviously state the truth.
But at the end of the day, when the chips are down, we do not live the truth.

Jesus was mocked by those around.
“You did miracles, you saved others, why can’t you save yourself?”
Irony holds the answer to that question.
He could not save Himself because He was saving others.

Our call has always been to mimick the life of Christ.
This is the life we are to strive for.
Will we achieve it? No.
Should we try our best anyway? Yes.

How?

Give yourself to others.
Live your life to serve, not be served.

See someone hungry? Give him food.
Someone thirsty? Give him drink.
Cold? Give him clothes, a place to stay.

How great it is to suffer even just a little for His righteousness.

Who would be so bold as to step out and be good news to the poor and needy.
We are all poor and needy.

Peace and love.

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4 thoughts on “Suffering.

  1. It truly amazes me to see how much you’ve grown and matured since that infamous day at the Five Star Guntersville Resort & Spa. I’m so proud of you! Love ya!

  2. As I read this, I thought about the song I may be singing this Sunday: “How Deep the Fathers Love for Us”

    How deep the Father’s love for us,
    How vast beyond all measure
    That He should give His only Son
    To make a wretch His treasure

    How great the pain of searing loss,
    The Father turns His face away
    As wounds which mar the chosen One,
    Bring many sons to glory

    Behold the Man upon the cross,
    My sin upon His shoulders
    Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
    Call out among the scoffers

    It was my sin that held Him there
    Until it was accomplished
    His dying breath has brought me life
    I know that it is finished

    I will not boast in anything
    No gifts, no power, no wisdom
    But I will boast in Jesus Christ
    His death and resurrection

    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer
    But this I know with all my heart
    His wounds have paid my ransom!

    Call me when you get a chance, again…

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