Christ’s Suffering.

I don’t think we understand this because as we become teenagers and progress into adulthood, we long for the day when we can get away from our parents. We value individualism and hold it to the highest degree in our society as we claim “I am my own person!” But let me explain this to you:

Christ was at God’s side in the purest vision of relationship that we have ever had the chance to look in on. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit. This perfect community of love, as One, decided to create mankind. God created the earth and created man “in our image”, the Bible says. There was perfect relationship there. Sin enters the earth near the same time and this fellowship that man has with God is severed by our attempt at being like God. Laws are introduced in an effort to keep man close to his Creator, but we constantly fall short, so a lamb is killed for our sins. (let me say, this is a very broad overview of a beautiful system that was set in place as a foreshadowing for a salvation to come.)

Some time passes, and a part of this beautiful relationship mentioned earlier comes to earth in the form of a baby, named Jesus Christ. Now, I want to emphasize this relationship, for a later point. Let me not paint this picture of relation with a broad stroke. You must know that the fullness our hearts in the love we feel for those closest to us, i believe, are only a taste of the love that the father had for the son, that had for the holy spirit, that had for the father. I believe that the love we feel for those closest to us is set in our hearts so we can taste and see the goodness of God. Christ lives a sinless life and dies providing a way for us to be connected again to the one who Created us. Now, you see, that last sentence was loaded, and when i say loaded, i mean there is so much behind that statement a book could be written to describe it (it’s called the Bible). 

So Christ comes to earth to pay the price, like the spotless lambs of the old testament; sinless and perfect, he lived 33 years and was murdered by a faulty court of people who weren’t even honoring their own laws for holding court (trial at night was not allowed by Jewish law, as one example; here are others). 

This is where this gets heavy to me. Christ walked on the earth for 33 years, performed many miracles, healed many sick people, raised people from the dead, all as a means to point to something greater. He knew he had a main task, and that was to be the final sacrifice for mankind in an effort to bring the created back into relationship with the Creator. So the night he was arrested, you find Christ, in the garden, stressed out of his mind, sweating drops of blood, praying asking God for another way. Sadly, i never paid much attention to this, only being thankful for it. But when you stop and think about it, why was he so burdened? Because he was carrying the weight of the sin of all humanity and becoming THE sacrifice? Yes! I mean, think about it, think about all the injustice we see on the day to day level in media, but also think about all the personal sins we keep quiet because we don’t want anyone to know. Now multiply that by every person who has ever lived and ever will live. That’s a big deal! 

But I believe Christ was confident in what God had been doing through him and his ability to handle the weight of the ultimate directive God placed on Him. I think that what was causing Christ the most anguish was the separation that had to occur for all of this to come to pass. Christ took all of this sin on himself and sacrificially separated himself from the beautiful community that he had been apart of for all time. I do not believe we can experience this separation here on earth. I believe this separation from God experienced by Christ is meant for those who reject Christ. This sacrifice of Christ is such a beautiful example of love. It’s not that he died for us physically, It’s that He separated himself from God for us. Please understand that what we as a people need most is relationship with God. So for Christ, as a human and part of the Trinity, to separate himself from the very thing that we as humans need most is THE ultimate in sacrifice. We need God more than anything else because there is eternity and in this eternity, we will live in relationship with him or we will live separated from Him.

The drops of blood that dripped from Christ’s pores and the anguish that the biblical authors wrote about are sobering.

Think about it. 

Jason

community

i’m reading a book called “life together” by dietrich bonhoeffer. It’s a great book! He was a priest in Germany during WWII and he was arrested for being a part of the plot to assassinate hitler. (he was actually asked to be chaplain of this group) While he was in prison, he wrote this book.
I tried reading it a while ago, and for some reason, just couldnt. but now it seems that it has been opened to me and i am just soaking it in. i’m going to share stuff from it. feel free to let me know your thoughts, and if you’ve read the book, or you want to, join me and we can discuss it here, or maybe i’ll start a book discussion blog… who knows?!

Bonhoeffer is talking about Christians needing one another to share the words of scripture with one another. He is saying that our ties are in Christ, for we all have the same thing in common- the death/burial/resurrection of Christ and now, we have an immediate need to support one another. Christs achievement of obedience set the standard for our goal of obedience.
one thing that should be considered here is that upon accepting Christ, we are immediately drawn into a relationship with others. Christ never meant for us to be loners and to do life outside the community, simply because he knew that it would be tough, too tough for us to handle on our own. I believe that’s why you rarely saw christ by himself in scripture, he always had people around him. For me, one of the biggest tragedies of our day is when someone is not made aware of the reality that life cant be done (and shouldn’t be done) alone. We were made for community.
I believe we are meant to speak scripture to one another, to encourage one another with those Holy words that bind us together in our common goal to be obedient to Christ.
I see it more and more in our community: the subtle attack of the enemy to seperate Christ’s followers through self sufficiency. I see it alot in my own community. there are men that are dear to me that dont share in one another’s lives and dont breathe scripture to one another, and i can tell that on the inside they are close to death. It’s quite sad. The enemy has a way of encouraging us to build walls through hurts and pains and shames that we sometimes cant get over… without a solid community to encourage with scripture and share in those times.
It is good to know that people and scripture are close at hand for us most of us.
Share a word with a brother or sister… who knows what they’re dealing with.