Suffering by example.

I promised to get back to the question I asked in my earlier blog post:  how does Jesus deal with our rebellion against him and continue to forgive us without allowing our actions to get in the way of his plans?  If he does in fact understand our temptation and if he is fully man then he would have to feel pain when we reject him.  I think it is easy to think of Jesus as detached from emotion, but that concept doesn’t really have a Biblical base.

“To [suffering] 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

My mom pointed out this passage to me (she has lots of wise things to say, you can follow her blog here).

The first thing that hits me is that I have been called to a life of suffering.  Not a popular concept, but one that is echoed throughout the Bible.  I see many Christians who spout messages about being called to live in victory and blessing but when they are asked to suffer they put up a hard wall of pride and cut themselves off from what is making them uncomfortable.  I believe that God calls us to live in victory and that he blesses us, but what was Christ’s example?  I think in many ways we carefully avoid following Christ’s literal example.

“To [suffering] you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”  1 Peter 2:21

The answer to my question about how Jesus does it is in verse 23:  “he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

This takes the situation completely out of my hands.  If I am entrusting myself to God then I do not need to avenge myself or protect myself from being hurt by others.  I am free to continue on in the steps of Christ.

God has a vested interest in me.  In me.  Why would I believe that he cares less about my pain than I do?

When he calls me to forgiveness it isn’t out of a lack of understanding how much I’ve been hurt.  He can relate to my hurt.  It is out of a love just as deep for the person who has offended me and a desire that I be more like his son.  I can trust my heart and my pain to a God who knows it firsthand and gives me the grace to forgive it and continue on the pilgrimage he has placed before me.

I feel lighter already.

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