Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Innkeeper

Suffering. We all face it sooner or later. And it can cause us to wrestle fiercely with God when we come to confess that he's sovereign over our pain - that he could stop it but he doesn't sometimes. It's hard - but healthy - to see him truly... Nothing is out of his control.

But he's also compassionate. The good news of the cross teaches us to look at Jesus, who (in God's sovereign plan) looked on us with mercy and suffered for our sakes. He endured a kind of betrayal, mocking, and torture that no one else has ever endured - not merely because of its severity, but infinitely compounded because of how unjust it was. He was morally spotless. He deserved no suffering and suffered worse than I do. But in love, he showed that we were worth it. There was a greater good than avoiding suffering: the salvation of the world! This is amazing news that teaches us, whatever the reason for our suffering, it's not because Jesus withholds his love from us.

Still, when we suffer, it can be hard to relate Jesus' suffering to ours in time and space. Jesus already saved the world by suffering. Further, that greater good was clear to Jesus, so he walked into it with eyes wide open (Heb. 12:2, John 10:11). What about our suffering? What does ours accomplish? Wouldn't it be easier if we too knew what was at stake?