the supreme sufferer
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us.”
1 JOHN 3:16
Throughout His earthly life, Jesus was constantly exposed to personal violence. At the beginning of His ministry, His own people at Nazareth tried to throw Him down from the edge of the hill–Luke 4:29. The religious and political leaders often conspired to seize Him and kill Him. At length He was arrested and brought to trial before Pilate and Herod. Even though He was guiltless of the accusations, He was pronounced as an enemy of God and man, and not worthy to live.
The sufferings of Jesus also included the fierce temptations of the devil: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).
Remember, too, that He knew in advance what was coming, and this enhanced his suffering. He knew the contents of the cup He had to drink; He knew the path of suffering He should had to walk. He could distinctly foresee the baptism of blood (death) that awaited Him. He spoke plainly to His disciples of His coming death by crucifixion.
Jesus, the supreme sufferer, came to suffer for our sins. As a result of His sufferings, our redemption was secured.
What does the Divine Sufferer demand from us? Only our faith, our love, our grateful praise, our consecrated hearts and lives. Is that too much to ask?
Christ living in us will enable us to live above our circumstances, however painful they are. Perhaps as you read this article, you find yourself almost crushed by the circumstances you are now facing. You wonder how much more you can stand. But don’t give-up! God’s grace is sufficient for you and will enable you to rise above your trials. Let this be your confidence:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:35-37)
“The Cross shows us the seriousness of our sin. But it also shows us the immeasurable love of God.” –Billy Graham