When you and I watch on the giant HD screens today, we can see the deep cuts on the man’s body. A soldier beat him while an angry crowd laughed at the man whose face is covered with blood. The scenes appear so real, that, in the silence of the room, we cringe and grimace as if we could feel the pain ourselves. But this was only a film, reenactment of Jesus suffering for us.
Reminding us of Jesus’ suffering, Peter wrote:
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Folks, “For to this you were called,” means part of being a Christian is the privilege of serving God faithfully when we (you and I) encounter underserved judgment.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
Leaving us an example. We are to observe how Christ handled unjust punishment gives us (you and I) insight as to how we also may endure such trials.
Brothers and Sisters, suffering comes in different forms and intensity. I believe it is to be expected. Ours (yours and mine) may not be as intense as that experienced by Paul, who for the sake of Christ was beaten with rods, stoned, and shipwrecked. He was attacked by bandits, and endured hunger and thirst. PLEASE READ 2d Corinthians 11:24-27.
Today, you and I may not suffer like those who endure severe persecution in cultures where Christianity is not welcome. Today, we understand and know the definition of the word “missionary,” but we don’t know the persecution and suffering they endure. Some of our neighborhood churches are called Missionary Church, but we have a hard time gathering the congregation to go witnessing in our communities. We make excuses and excuses.
Folks, in some form or another, suffering will come our way as we deny ourselves, endure harassment, bear insults, or refuse to engage in activities that do not honor the Lord. Even exercising patience, avoiding revenge, and forgiving others in order to foster good relationships are forms of following in His steps.
Whenever we encounter suffering, may we (you and I) remember what Jesus
endured for us. Suffering for Christ. PLEASE READ 2d Corinthians 11:21-30 FOCUS on 2d Corinthians 11:30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. Infirmity means my “weakness”. Paul explains his weakness further in 2d Corinthians 12:7-10.
The school of suffering teaches us lessons that we could learn in no other classroom.
The suffering of this mortal life is only temporary, however the eternity is forever. If we are willing to endure persecution and suffering in this life for the sake of our witness of the living Savior, than we will reign with Him in eternity. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Please accept Him as your personal Savior, while there is yet time.