“…He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”Philippians 2:8
At Easter, our attention turns to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The good news of salvation is fully recognized in these elements of Jesus’ life. Our sin deserves death, the fullness of God’s wrath. But the sinless One, Jesus, willingly endured death in the place of helpless sinners. He was raised to life, ending the curse of death and proving His Lordship over creation.
So we recognize that Jesus HAD TO DIE. But do we give enough attention to the fact that He also SUFFERED for our sake? It was prophesied that the Christ would suffer (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). But do we consider the extent of Jesus’ suffering leading up to His death? He was beaten, spat upon, and slandered. He endured physical and emotional abuse. His closest friends scattered in His moment of greatest need. Even the manner of His death seems quite excessive, given the specific requirement in God’s Law.The Apostle Paul emphasized this when he said “…even death on a cross.” And why? What does God seek to prove in allowing His Son to not just die, but to suffer in such an agonizing way? Is there any purpose to all the suffering if death was the true requirement? ABSOLUTELY!
In Jesus’ death, we have forgiveness from sin. In His resurrection, we have everlasting life with God. But in His suffering we find strength in a Savior who knows our pain. When we are tempted to quit, we know that Christ overcame that same temptation. We have a great High Priest who suffered as we do (Hebrews 4:15). This Easter, be thankful for Christ not only because He paid the price for sin, but also because He was our model for suffering in this life. And in your thankfulness, tell someone about Jesus and what He means to you