Sunday, April 1, 2012

Rescue from Suffering ?

We often refer to Palm Sunday as the day of the Triumphal Entry because the crowds hailed Jesus as a king and cried out "Hosanna" as he passed by.

However, this morning our pastor talked more about the contrast between the triumphal entry and concept of the suffering servant.  

I find it interesting that then, much as now, people equated "triumph" with rescue.  The Jews wanted a triumphant king who would rescue them from Roman rule and oppression.

They certainly were not interested in some "suffering servant" concept.  Where was the joy in that?  They wanted relief, deliverance, an easier time of it.  Sound familiar?

Only Jesus understood that it was through suffering that true and lasting triumph would come.   

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

To our human thinking this is still very confusing.  We would like to be rescued from suffering, not made victorious through suffering.  It is counter to all our human instincts. 

In our deepest heart of hearts, however, we hear the ring of truth in the call to servanthood, and yes, sometimes to suffering.  While God is always capable of rescuing us at any time from any circumstance, rescue may not be His highest calling for us anymore than it was for his Son.                     # # # # #

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 
            who, being in very nature God,
                  did not consider equality with God
                           something to be grasped,

but made himself nothing, 
        taking the very nature of a servant,
        being made in human likeness,
        .... he humbled himself and became obedient to death -
                      even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)
                                                     # # # # #
I don't know about you, but some days I so desperately want to be rescued, that I forget that may not be God's highest plan for my life.   

He explained this to us a long time ago in Luke 9:23 when he told us that following Him meant taking up our cross daily.

                                       # # # # #
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)


  1. So very true. I just went through a study on the keys of suffering and one quote really stands out to me. "Don't waste your suffering." We waste it by closing our ears to what God is saying and just trying to escape it instead of learning from it. Good post!

  2. I hear you! It can be so easy to simply ask for relief from suffering. I was having a talk with my mother-in-law just this afternoon as she is suffering health wise and generally getting older. We talked about how Jesus rode into town on a donkey and the people applauded Him. They thought He would rescue them from the oppressive Romans. But less than one week later, they were cursing Him. I hope my words to Gloria helped a bit. She seemed to be open to allowing me to pray for her this time.

    1. Debbie - So glad you were able to speak a word of encouragement to your mother-in-law. Blessings to you at this Easter season.

  3. Your post today is so important for us to remember all year long....Since everything that touches our lives is filtered through the loving hand of God, we can trust Him in our suffering that He is working good for us...Sometimes it's very difficult but if He chooses not to deliver us from the suffering, He will give us all we need to get through it.....

    I pray you are blessed beyond measure this week....