OF FIRST IMPORTANCE
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures… 1 Corinthians 15:3-4a
This suffering is for the birds! The policies of shelter-in-place, and social distancing and being quarantined, and not being able to shake hands or hug or well…it is really bad! I’m tired of it all. Are you?
All of it is really not a matter of suffering but more inconvenience than anything. Especially, if one considers the suffering Christ endured, then all of the current circumstances fade into nothingness. A man who received adoration from multitudes of people was unjustly accused, arrested, tried, convicted, beaten, mocked, harassed and crucified. He died and was buried. How do the problems of the current pandemic compare to what Jesus endured on behalf of sinful mankind? Today’s issues do not create suffering. Yes, it is aggravating but eventually relief from the health problems circumventing the world will become the norm again. In fact, the world will move rapidly to another “crisis!”
In the pain Jesus experienced for all mankind resides the amazing truth that He voluntarily “drank from the cup of suffering.” There were political machinations, deceit, betrayal and injustice. All this occurred “in accordance with the Scriptures.” By the messages of the Old Testament prophecies, all fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah, God pointed to the only One who could offer His life as an atonement for the sins of the world. “And by this we know love, that He laid down His life for us…” (1 John 3:16a).
What does this mean for our current experience? We have a Savior who experienced suffering on our behalf. Because He has suffered…He is able to help (see Hebrews 2:18). What purpose is there in this time of trial? Jesus “learned obedience through what He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Can we learn, too? And the ultimate good is: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
May the knowledge that Jesus loves you so much that He suffered on the first Good Friday give you strength and encouragement in these inconvenient days. Remember that He did it because He knew that beyond His crucifixion, His Resurrection was coming! He offers you His life that you may know the righteousness, peace and joy that is in the Holy Spirit. He brings joy to replace despondence; hope to overcome hopelessness; peace to overcome insecurity. He brings every good and perfect gift that you may have that hope that endures, peace beyond comprehension and confidence in every situation!
Love in Christ our Savior, Pastor Grier
First Lutheran Church
304 Oscar | El Campo, TX 77437 | PH: 979-543-5847