“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
Today this verse made sense, trust me I’m not comparing being sick with a terrible upper respiratory infection for the past 6 days and not getting to go outside to the suffering of Christ. No no, this made sense because I finally had 6 days to contemplate why the very thing I loved was the very cause of so much pain and it made sense, because I finally understood how Jesus must have felt when they spit in his face, dragged him across town, ridiculed him naked, whipped his back till his flesh was ripped off and his whole body was drenched in blood. As if that wasn’t enough, they chose a murderer’s life over his sinless one because they needed to assert their power, and evil desires over his dignity!
But then He, the one who gave them the very breath they were breathing, instead of showing them who’s truly powerful by wiping them off the face of the earth, he chooses to go along with their mockery to the point of death on the cross. BUT, giving his life wasn’t enough, he gave them the ultimate gift, his forgiveness! He understands the evil nature of their motivation and begs for the father to forgive them for they know not what they do.
Today it made sense why he said that, not only because he is good, kind, sinless but because he knew his worth to the father. He knew if he didn’t forgive them they were doomed, He knew his purpose on this earth was to redeem the spiritually blind and undeserving ones like myself so he chose them over his own life, he protected them as they put a spear in his side.
Today it made sense why he allowed me to walk some hard roads, I couldn’t possibly experience the type of deep suffering He experienced without having to lose the very thing I gave myself for. How can I share in Christ’s suffering without being ridiculed, ashamed, invisible. There are no shortcuts with Jesus, the road is narrow, lonely and long and for me that road had produced deep fear, anger and resentment until now, the lightbulb just went on, this is how I share in his suffering, this is the road less traveled and this is why I should consider it all joy because “the sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us.” Romans 8:18
I praise the One who never wastes my pain or any of my experiences! And I consider it an honor to get a glimpse into the life and suffering of the holy one who gave me grace I so not deserve! So I choose to forgive as well for they know not what they do.