Sunday I preached on hardships, more specifically making Jesus Christ Lord of our hardships. Hear it here. We know that God allows suffering to produce within us perseverance, character, and hope. (Romans 5:4). Suffering is not enjoyable, but it is beneficial.

As we approach Good Friday we are reminded of the horrific suffering our Lord endured. "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." (Hebrews 12:2). When we suffer, may we be reminded of His suffering, and remember how He identifies with us in our times of suffering.

I appreciate Rob Bell's thoughts. He writes,

"The cross is God's way of saying, "I know what it's like."

The execution stake is the creator of the universe saying, "I know how you feel."

Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, "God, you don't know what it's like! You don't understand! You have no idea what I'm going through. You don't have a clue how much this hurts."

The cross is God's way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments.

The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, "Me too."

Because of what Christ accomplished in His suffering, we now have the ability to conquer sin and experience victory and hope in suffering.

Thank you Jesus for Good Friday.


rindy said...

So, so true. I love the way you have put this into words. Just watched "The Passion of the Christ" again last night with my kids and that is exactly what I feel every time I think about what Jesus went through. thanks for the reminder!

Robin Imse said...

It may be a nice sentiment, God saying, "I know what it's like" but the truth is we don't know what it's like even though we should. Christ knows what the Cross is like and because of that WE NEVER WILL. I'm very frustrated with Rob Bell's makeing the Gospel a human focused mess. Christ didn't die on the cross to commiserate with us, but to appease the wrath of God that should rightly be poured out on us because of our sin-our sin that is SO detestable before a perfect and holy God that He knew that only Christ living a perfect and sinless life could cover it.

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