THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS
“The Heidelberg Catechism says that Christ sustained the anger of God against the sin of His people ‘during his whole life on earth, but especially at the end’ (Q&A 37).”1
“One who is the Creator of the universe lived His life on the same plane ours is lived, passed through the same trials we experience, and suffered not only as we do, but far more acutely.”2
A large boulder on the seashore takes the full force of each wave, while small rocks and pebbles move back and forth with the waves. JESUS took the full brunt of resistance against Him (for He never sinned), while we move back and forth with sin making it not as severe as the suffering of JESUS.
He was made perfect ‘through suffering’ (Heb 2:10). Therefore we should see all the hardship and suffering that comes to us in life as something that God brings to us to do us good, strengthening our trust in him and our obedience, and ultimately increasing our ability to glorify him.3
The suffering of JESUS consisted of two reasons: (1) He suffered because He was the Son of GOD and spoke Truth and lived it out (Matt 4:17) and (2) He suffered because He was the Son of Man and tempted to sin but did not (Heb 2:18).
Scripture speaks of two kinds of suffering Christians experience: (1) We will suffer as JESUS suffered by unholy men because we speak Truth and live it out (Acts 4:1-3) and (2) we will suffer because we are mere men; we’re tempted to sin, and succumb to it (1 John 1:8).
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12 ESV).
The indwelling of Christ in the believer is a kind of second incarnation of the Son of God. When Christ enters the heart of a poor sinner, He once more clothes Himself with our nature. The life Christ lived in the days of His time on earth was a life of sorrow, of conflict, of temptation, of desertion, of want and of suffering in every form. Does He now live a different life in the believer? No; He is still tempted and deserted, in sorrow and in want, in humiliation and in suffering—in His people. Did you think that these fiery darts were leveled at you? Did you suppose that you were deserted, you suffered, you were despised, you were trodden under foot? No, it was Christ dwelling in you. All the cruelty of Satan, all the power of sin and all the contempt of the world are leveled, not against you, but against the Lord dwelling in you.4
(15) JESUS, You Suffered
1. “The Sufferings of Christ,” Ligonier Ministries, 17 June 2021 https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/the-suffering-of-christ/.
2. A.W. Pink, “Commentary on Hebrews 2,” A.W. Pink’s Commentary on John and Hebrews, 9 February 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/awp/hebrews-2.html.
3. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 812.
4. Octavius Winslow, Evening Thoughts (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2005) November 7th.
5. John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: THE BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST, 1960, reprinted 1990) 82.
6. “ . . . ‘Sing aloud with gladness . . . and raise shouts . . . proclaim, give praise, and say, . . .” (Jeremiah 31:7).