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)