Originally scheduled for December 4
One of the things a new Christian discovers is that the view of
suffering that he has is not shared by God the Father. This is
particularly true for innocent suffering. Consider, for example, a
newborn child in constant pain.
Our first reaction is that this is somehow not fair. What did the
child do to deserve such pain? You’re right; it isn’t fair. The
world is not fair.
want to do what we can to alleviate such pain. For a newborn, you
might pick them up and hug them and rock them.
And you just might, in your prayers, ask God why he allows such an
One answer to this is found in Hebrews:
But we do
see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels,
namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory
and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for
everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and
through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to
perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both
He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one
Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
(Hebrews 2:9-11 NASB)
We see here one answer which God
might give. Christ was the ultimate in innocent suffering, and the
author of Hebrews tells us a little bit about why.
This suffering preceded Christ being crowned with glory for what he
did for us.
suffering led to the first great victory over death, by our
forerunner, Christ. Someday we will share in his resurrection; he is
the firstfruits of the resurrection.
It clearly tells us that God did this to Christ to perfect the
author of our salvation. It is by this route that we become brothers
and sisters to Christ, sharing in his glory.
Communion is a
reminder of the sufferings of Christ.
In the bread we see the body of Christ, beaten, crowned with thorns
and then nailed to a cross. The final insult to his body was a lance
through his side.
cup portrays for us his blood. It is likely enough that loss of
blood was a direct cause of his death. Anyone who suffered a severe
cut can tell you of the pain that goes with it.
As you partake
this morning, be mindful of your Lord’s suffering. Treat these
elements with the dignity and respect they deserve, remembering that
his suffering brought about your salvation.