Monday, July 18, 2011

How the account of Jesus's suffering helps me have faith

The last part of Christ’s life has always been difficult for me to wrap my head around. The way He stands calm and quiet and patient while accused, condemned, and abused seems more and more superhuman the older I get. I quake to think how I would have acted if I were in His place.

The trouble is, considering this doesn’t really help me; rather it seems to alienate me from Christ. I suppose it is just ugly pride in me that hates to be second best in anything. (Terrible, huh?)

But recently, as I have been studying Christ’s trial and crucifixion in preparation for teaching a 16-year-old Sunday school class, I have realized how these accounts of His suffering can directly help me to have faith in Him and draw me to Him. If He suffered those things because of His loving kindness and long-suffering toward those who did those things to Him, I know He will be just as patient and loving toward me, for certainly my sins have hurt Him just as much.

If He had shown the least bit of resentment, would we be able to have perfect trust in Him? It would be harder. We would fear that He would have difficulty forgiving us.

Glory be to the Father; Jesus’s love for us is revealed.


Ramona Gordy said...

As humans we tend to want a "Hero", maybe superman,or Captain America,even Harry Potter:)
Jesus is not a "Hero",but he is God,and was made flesh. The flesh being weak, but the spirit "willing". Whenever I have read that account of the trial,I am always amazed at Jesus's presence of mind, to be present in that moment. Only a few chapters back, he had prayed an agonizing prayer, even asked if the cup could be removed. The sustaining power of that prayer obviously gave him the strength to stand there,with dignity.But,there was a defiance there also,a challenge to Pilate.
When Pilate asked him a second time "who he was or rather "Who do you think you are?" The second asking of this question was an insult and the Lord did not answer, he had already answered.Why suffer a foolish question. Remember Jesus did not "give him self up" like a hunted criminal, he went willingly.
I look at this as an example,when the Lord was preparing his diciples for the coming days after his resurrection, he told them that they, and us, would do greater works then the works he had accomplished. With greater works, come greater responsibilities and more opportunities for trails and tribulation and persecution.
I belive without a shadow of doubt, that the Savior loves us and does not hold grudges against us,or is conditional in his love toward us.

Anonymous said...

I love this post.

As our Sunday School class was discussing this part of Christ's life, my teacher made the point that - Christ had perfect love and compassion on those who were scourging Him, Mocking Him, and Crucifying him. I've always known this logically.

However, I was led to realize that this love is exactly what He expects from each of us, too.

Recently, my younger brother passed away. the event has made me consider the relationships I have with my family - both my children/husband and my extended family (brothers, sisters, etc.) I love them very deeply. But, as I set out to attend my brother's funeral, and as emotions were running high, I recognized that my love is still so shallow in comparison to the Love that the Savior has for each of us, and that He expects us to have for one another.

It is easy to love the Savior sometimes. I mean, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are perfect beings. They don't do things that offend us, hurt us, etc. Then we have our other relationships - even within our families, and the dynamic isn't always ideal. Even though we have a tough time loving each other, Christ is able to love us perfectly and purely.

I have realized that in order to really love the way Christ loves, I need to understand others. This concept came to mind when our Sunday School class discussed these final moments in Christ's life. His love wasn't just patience under pressure. In some way, he understood those who caused Him to suffer, and through such understanding, he was able to love them with His Pure love.

Anyways...thanks for the food for thought. It is great to know that Christ loves each of us - and understands us - perfectly...Sometimes, I agree, it feels almost alienating, but when we really understand what His love means for us, I think we ultimately feel joy.

Michaela Stephens said...

RGG, that's a great thought, that we will do even greater works. I suppose those works wouldn't be possible without Christ laying the foundation.

chococatania, I'm sorry to hear about your younger brother's passing. I loved your thought about learning to understand others.