05 Mar Jesus’ Suffering for Us: Strengthened to Suffer
The suffering of Jesus Christ is at the heart of the Christian faith. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are central to the gospel message. The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead on the third day. However, the gospel message is incomplete without an understanding of the suffering of Jesus Christ. In this blog post, we will explore Jesus’ suffering for us, focusing on the Strengthening of Jesus in his time of agony, Satan’s hour, and the arrest of Jesus.
In Luke 22:43, we read about Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew that his time had come to suffer for the sins of humanity. He was in agony, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. In the midst of this intense suffering, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
In response to Jesus’ prayer, an angel appeared to him from heaven to strengthen him. The angel provided Jesus with the strength he needed to endure the coming suffering. This shows us that Jesus was not alone in his suffering. He had the support and strength of his heavenly Father and the angels. The humanity of Jesus is evident here as he displays emotions and feelings that we all can relate to in times of difficulty.
How does the humanity of Jesus help us in our humanity?
The humanity of Jesus is an essential aspect of the Christian faith. Jesus was fully human, yet fully God. He experienced pain, suffering, and temptation just like we do. He understands our struggles and challenges because he experienced them himself. The writer of Hebrews tells us that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Because Jesus is fully human, we can approach him with our struggles and weaknesses, knowing that he understands and empathizes with us. We can take comfort in the fact that he is not distant or disconnected from us, but rather, he is intimately acquainted with our struggles.
Jesus’ Suffering for Us: Satan’s Hour (Luke 22:53)
In Luke 22:53, Jesus tells his disciples, “But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” Jesus knew that his suffering was part of God’s plan, and he was willing to submit to it. However, he also knew that his suffering was not just about him. He was suffering on behalf of all humanity, to pay the penalty for our sins.
Satan’s hour refers to the time when evil seemed to be winning. Satan had put his plan in motion to have Jesus arrested, tried, and executed. However, Jesus knew that even in the midst of Satan’s hour, God was still in control.
How does the sovereignty of God help us in uncertain times?
The sovereignty of God means that he is in control of everything. Even when it seems like evil is winning, God is still in control. As believers, we can take comfort in the fact that God is always at work, even in the midst of difficult and uncertain times.
Throughout history, we can see examples of God’s sovereignty at work, even in the midst of evil and suffering. For example, during the Holocaust, many people were persecuted and killed for their faith. However, even in the midst of this evil, God was at work. Many people came to faith in Jesus Christ during this time, and the gospel continued to spread despite the persecution.
When we face uncertain and difficult times, we can trust in God’s sovereignty. We can rest in the knowledge that he is in control, and he is working all things together for our good and his glory. As Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Jesus’ Suffering for Us: Jesus’ Arrest (John 18:1-12)
In John 18:1-12, we read about the arrest of Jesus. Jesus had just finished praying in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas arrived with a crowd of soldiers and officials. Jesus knew that his time had come, and he willingly submitted to his arrest.
Even in the midst of this betrayal and arrest, Jesus remained calm and in control. He knew that his suffering was part of God’s plan, and he was willing to endure it.
This shows us that Jesus was not a victim of circumstance. He was not powerless in the face of his enemies. Rather, he willingly submitted to his suffering because he knew that it was part of God’s plan.
Consider that Jesus suffered through “Satan’s hour” because of your sin and on your behalf. What thoughts and feelings does this evoke?
The fact that Jesus suffered on our behalf is a humbling and awe-inspiring truth. We are all sinners, and we deserve to suffer the consequences of our sin. However, Jesus took our place. He suffered the penalty for our sins so that we could be reconciled to God.
As we reflect on Jesus’ suffering on our behalf, we should feel a deep sense of gratitude and humility. We should be grateful that God loved us enough to send his Son to suffer and die for us. We should also be humbled by the fact that we are completely undeserving of this love and grace.
In church history, we can see examples of people who were deeply impacted by the suffering of Jesus Christ. For example, the hymnwriter Isaac Watts wrote the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” which reflects on the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice. Watts writes, “Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
In conclusion, the suffering of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. His suffering was not just a random event or a tragic accident. It was part of God’s plan to redeem humanity from sin and death. As we reflect on Jesus’ suffering, we should be filled with gratitude and humility. We should also take comfort in the fact that God is in control, even in the midst of suffering and uncertainty. Finally, we should remember that Jesus is not just a distant historical figure. He is our Savior, and he understands our struggles and challenges. We can approach him with our weaknesses, knowing that he empathizes with us and provides the strength we need to endure.
Sermon and Sandwiches
Here are some conversation starters that are easy to discuss over lunch based on the topic of Jesus’ suffering for us:
- How do you think Jesus’ humanity helps us to relate to him on a personal level?
- Have you ever struggled to understand the concept of atonement in Scripture? How does Jesus’ suffering on the cross bring about forgiveness and reconciliation with God?
- How can we rely on Jesus’ strength to sustain us in difficult times? What can we do to deepen our trust in him during trials and hardships?
- Have you ever read about the lives of Christian martyrs throughout history? How does their example of courage and faithfulness inspire us to live out our faith in our daily lives?
- How has reflecting on Jesus’ suffering for us impacted your own faith journey? In what ways can we apply these truths to our marriage and family life?
The Daily Devotion:
Read through the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ suffering and death, specifically focusing on the events leading up to his arrest and crucifixion. Take note of how Jesus responded to his suffering and what this reveals about his character.
Study the concept of atonement in Scripture. Read through key passages such as Romans 3:23-25, Hebrews 9:11-14, and 1 John 2:2. Reflect on how Jesus’ suffering on the cross brings about atonement for our sins.
Research the concept of “vicarious atonement” in Christian theology. How does this idea help us to understand Jesus’ suffering on our behalf? Look up relevant passages such as Isaiah 53:4-5 and 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Study the topic of suffering in the Christian life. Read through key passages such as Romans 8:18-28, James 1:2-4, and 1 Peter 4:12-19. Reflect on how Jesus’ example of suffering can help us to endure our own suffering and difficulties.
Read about the lives of Christian martyrs throughout history, such as Polycarp, Perpetua, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Reflect on how their examples of suffering for their faith can inspire and encourage us in our own faith journeys.
As parents, it is essential to teach our children about the central truths of the Christian faith, including Jesus’ suffering on our behalf. Here are some tips for discussing these essential truths with kids:
- Discuss Jesus’ humanity: Children can sometimes struggle to understand concepts like the Trinity or atonement. However, they can relate to the idea of Jesus being a real person who felt pain and sorrow just like we do. Emphasize that Jesus willingly suffered for us because he loves us and wants to save us from our sins.
- Focus on God’s love and sovereignty: Children need to understand that God is in control of everything, even when bad things happen. Emphasize that God loves us so much that he sent his Son to suffer and die for us. This can help children to feel secure and loved, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
- Discuss the concept of sin: Children need to understand that sin is serious and that it separates us from God. Emphasize that we all sin and need a Savior to rescue us. Help children to understand that Jesus’ suffering on the cross was necessary to pay the penalty for our sins.
Here are some questions parents can ask to prompt discussion:
- Why did Jesus suffer for us? How does his suffering show us that he loves us?
- How can we trust God even when bad things happen?
- What is sin? How does sin separate us from God?
- How does Jesus’ suffering on the cross bring us forgiveness and salvation?
- How can we follow Jesus’ example of suffering with courage and faith?
By discussing these essential truths with our children, we can help them to develop a deep and meaningful faith that will sustain them throughout their lives.