Lent | 2.28.12
1 Peter 3:8-18a
When I think about Christ’s suffering for me, I tend to remove it from the realm of the uncomfortably real into a place where it can remain untouched and “pretty.” I can talk of Christ’s atoning sacrifice as a means of accomplishing my salvation, but it sits so much easierwhen I do not allow His suffering to become real to me. I have this view of a well-kept Christ who lived a neat and quiet life until just before he was crucified. I often forget that he truly was a man just like me. He suffered for me not only on the cross, but also throughout His entire life. He felt the pains of humanity: our sleepless nights, our grief, our endless ache to be understood, and our temptations to find fulfillment in something less than God Himself.
He spent three decades inhabiting time, walking through His broken, sin-spoiled creation, and spending time with people who could never quite understand Him. He did this all so that He could sympathize with our weaknesses and our worries. 1 Peter 3:18a says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” He experienced all of this so He could rescue us and bring us back to our Creator. Although the verse says “Christ . . . suffered once,” Christ’s sufferings were not just a one-and-done kind of deal, but rather a lifetime of struggle experienced in order to understand us and save us in the most intimate way. He spent a lifetime not feeling at home, a lifetime of having to fight to commune with His Father, a lifetime full of the deaths of his friends and the deserting of his followers.
Jesus suffered in the ultimate way for us on the cross, and let us focus our hearts on that reality! But this Lenten season, let us not also forget that He suffered daily for us. He experienced our proclivity towards failure and selfishness, all so that He could rescue us, so that He could bring us near to God again. The Spirit of our perfect Savior now enables us to draw near to God. God is not a God who looks down on us apathetically, but a God who deeply understands our own sufferings and weaknesses. Let us draw near and worship the One who suffered to save us.
Junior, Religion and the Arts Major
You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at: http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf.