crucifixion: an example of suffering
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of salvation unto all them that obey him.”
The Holy Scripture, while insisting that the true purpose for which Jesus suffered was to deal with our sins, also points us to the suffering Savior as a pattern of how we, as His believing people, should endure our sufferings.
Thus the apostle Peter, when addressing Christian slaves, urges them to bear their sufferings submissively, even though they have done no wrong: “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:21-23 NIV).
Tribulations brings suffering and suffering is an inevitable part of Christian life–whether we like it or not. Fire has the power to destroy the chaffs, but the same fire also refines the gold. In Christ, fire–sufferings works out wonders. But apart from Christ, one may suffer and suffer, only to land up in eternal suffering. But the sufferings in Christ works in reverse order for those in Christ; it doesn’t destroy them, but builds the character of Christ in them. Some have preached too much of candy cane message of prosperity and abundance, that, today, the body of Christ is confused, she don’t know how to react to the suffering. She doesn’t know what to do with the suffering. It has almost boiled down to the idea of lack of faith; as though, if a believer could muster enough faith, we could escape all kind of suffering. “Faith is not meant to escape sufferings; but to escape falling away from God in the midst of suffering. To stand still in the midst of sufferings.”
“…strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
But Christ has left us an example of suffering. The Greek word for example is derived from school life and refers to a pattern of writing to be copied by the child learning to write. Christ is our copybook. We look at Him and learn how suffering is to be borne.
“Faith is not meant to escape sufferings; but to standstill in the midst of suffering”
In the passage the apostle draws attention to four things about the suffering Savior. First, His holy life: “He committed no sin”; second, His guileless speech: “no deceit was found in his mouth”; third, His patient spirit: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats”; and fourth, His implicit faith: “he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
The author of Hebrews wrote, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (12:2–3 NIV).
Yes, consider Him. In our sufferings and tribulations Jesus Himself must be our chief consideration. The life of Christ reflects the true light on suffering and how one must react to suffering. We must fix our eyes upon Him. He who suffered for us shows us how we are to bear our sufferings.