Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.
6) Part personal Question. My answer: By God’s Will Jesus took on our suffering as a guilt offering to satisfy God and to justify us (Isaiah). Jesus says he must suffer, be killed and risen to life (Matthew). Acts says God planned Jesus’s death for His purposes. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans–no mention of suffering here though except through death.
Truthfully, I haven’t and I don’t believe I can ever come close to expressing my gratitude and appreciation for what Jesus has done on the cross for me. I try to though by doing His will in my life, putting Him first, caring for His people and creatures and all He has given me, giving the glory to Him for all the good in my life, thanking Him repeatedly, and trying to live the life He wants me to by being like Jesus.
In Mark Jesus says we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow him in order to gain eternal life. Acts tells us if we suffer for Him, it makes us worthy. Suffering allows us to know Christ more and the power of his suffering and fellowship with him and becoming more like Jesus. (Philippians)
Suffering increases your faith no doubt about it. Through faith, we know Him more, depend on him more, and love Him and His ways more. It makes us more like Christ and our gratitude grows along with our character. I have definitely experienced all of this and more through various trials: bankruptcy, death, hard times, moving, etc. But the gains have SO been worth it and eternity is near. A life led for others is richness indeed. See yesterday’s LINK for more purposes of suffering.
Conclusions: Day of recounting our sufferings as we’ve seen/done in previous lessons. Feel beaten down and we still have 2 more days of this!
End Notes: Brief Note on Mark 8:34-38: This passage is often misunderstood. Denying yourself and taking up your cross simply put means we surrender ourselves to Christ and take up His will. In the first century, the cross meant crucifixion. It meant death. It didn’t have any traditions or rituals or fuzzy or spiritual feelings attached to the cross and it wasn’t a symbol or associated yet with Jesus and Christianity. The cross was death. Period.
Deny self, take up cross, follow Jesus means: We cannot save ourselves; hence, we follow the one who can save us–Jesus. This is why we deny ourselves–to find life.
See this LINK. Great reference for suffering in the Bible and its purposes in the passages quoted.