Knowing Jesus In His Suffering While You Are Suffering
What’s remarkable about Jesus suffering before and on the cross is quite beautiful when you understand the depth of love Jesus expressed in His submission to the Father’s will. This love brings life not only through His suffering but also through ours. The more and more we grow in God’s Word, the more we understand who God is and what He has done for us.
Do Sufferings Hold Purpose?
Christ’s suffering was a selfless, sacrificial act of love, but what’s incredible about Jesus’s suffering is found in one of the reasons God allows suffering in our lives. We don’t look at suffering in our lives as pleasant, but painful. For those of us who belong to Him, these sufferings we experience aren’t without meaning.
Hebrews 12:11 reads, ” No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
God clearly states in His Word that we will suffer (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Romans 5:3-4, Acts 14:22), but what’s beautiful to understand in those times is God allows suffering to take place in our lives so that we may know Him better in Jesus suffering. God reveals His unfailing love to us in His life and on the cross when we suffer.
Look To Jesus!
When we feel like we can’t go on, when we don’t have the strength to continue pressing forward, it’s in these moments where the eyes of our mind should remember our Savior, especially on the cross. Jesus did something far greater than we could ever imagine or take on ourselves.
No man could do what Jesus did!
No man could go through what Jesus went through! And so, for our lives, when we struggle and suffer, that should be a time of reflection. There was one who went before us, Jesus, who endured and went through far more than what we will ever go through. And He did it because He loved us! Hebrews 12:2-3 states, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Implications of The Cross
Jesus knew His mission included death by crucifixion on the cross, which brought Him great anguish when that time neared. It wasn’t just the brutal physical aspect that troubled Him; even more significant was that He was fixing to take upon Himself our sins and the Father’s wrath (Matthew 26:37-39). Jesus would face death knowing that His Father would not be with Him but against Him receiving the entire cup of divine judgment. But because of God’s unwavering love, He also knew the result of the cross would bring many to reconciliation with the Father. So when we suffer, we shouldn’t look at it as why me? But instead, we should reflect on those times and remember Jesus, His enduring faith, and unfailing love. Jesus loved us so greatly that no matter how great He suffered, He never turned back; He never gave up! Oh, how great is the love God has lavished on us through His Son! To recognize God’s love in His suffering through our suffering is truly incredible. I think of the song that Shane and Shane wrote titled “Though You Slay Me.” It’s a beautiful song. Their lyrics are cutting to my heart because they relate precisely to what I’m talking about. The song’s beginning says, “I come, God, I come, I return to the Lord, the one who’s broken, the one who’s torn me apart. You struck me down to bind me up. You say you do it all in love that I might know you in your suffering.”
So when we’re suffering, we must remember that his suffering was far more significant. His suffering should’ve been ours, but he took it upon himself because of His great love and mercy so that we’ll never have to experience it in the same way.
The suffering that we experience is for His glory.
Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
And so in our sufferings, we might know God in his suffering, what a sacrificial, selfless act He demonstrated in His life when He went to the cross. In John 15:12-13 He says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” What more extraordinary love than for Christ to lay down His life for people who are hostile towards Him? All of us at one time were God-haters and lived willfully in rebellion against Him (Psalm 83:2, John 15:18, Ephesians 2:1-5). Through His perfectly accomplished work, we receive grace (undeserved favor) instead of the deserved just punishment of hell and condemnation forever away from the One True God. Jesus willingly endured suffering, even though we hated Him, and took our sins and the wrath of God from us in exchange for His righteousness. It’s this abounding love that has brought us reconciliation with God. So again, beloved child of the Most High, remember your suffering is a way to know God and His great love in the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He tasted death, so you’ll never have to (Hebrews 2:9-10). To Him be the glory forever and ever, amen!