Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Easter and Suffering - 2013 exhortation

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches us many things.  One of the central things it teaches us is that for every Christian, every single suffering that God will take us through – God will actually take us through – and when He does – the end of it will be gain – much gain – gain for us – gain for God’s glory – gain through our sufferings for others.  How do we know?  Because the greatest suffering, the greatest wrongdoing, the greatest offense and injustice the world has ever known or ever will know was the Cross.  At the cross, Jesus, the perfect and righteous man, without sin and blameless in every way, was whipped, crucified, and buried.

No one has ever not deserved the punishment, the shame, the death, and the curse of God in any way like Jesus did not deserve such treatment.  But where did it lead?  It just so happened that God was completely in control all the way.  It just so happened that God placed all of our sins upon Christ in that horrific act and through His death, our sins were paid.  Through that death, Jesus killed our condemnation.  And God, good to His Word and promise, raised Jesus from the dead, declaring Him to be the Son of God with power, and providing us with our justification.

We come to worship and especially this Sunday, regardless of the sufferings and trials which we are going through, knowing and being reminded in this service, that there is no death that God allows us to go through, no trial, no difficulty, that He is not able to take us through.  And not only that, because we are in Christ, there is no suffering that He will not go through with us – of course He will – and of course, in Christ we will find at the end gain – much gain – gain for us – gain for God’s glory – gain through our suffering even for others – and all to His glory.

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