The Sufferings of Christ and Your Sufferings

Another answer Christians give to others suffering is “Just think of Jesus, He suffered for you.”

This is true in one sense. We should always think of Christ and we should also know that He intercedes for us and can comfort us in our pain.

But often this sentiment is said with coldness, “Hey, quit your whining about your leg that fell off and the ensuing gangrenous infection, you know Christ suffered on the cross for you without whining, suck it up.”

Even if it’s not said like that, it often sounds like that to the one being “consoled.” Is this a valid excuse to buck up under suffering? Couple points:

1) I don’t see it in Scripture anywhere. There is a verse that says Christ was tempted in every point like us, but I don’t think this is referring to suffering per se, although He did maintain sinlessness during His suffering.

2) His suffering had a point. I could go through suffering much more easily if I knew it was redeeming creation! But when suffering is just stupidly pointless, it does get irritating.

3) Christ’s suffering, in all fairness, was for a few hours. I mean no disrespect with this, I’m just saying. I know, I know, He had to suffer with all our sins so there was spiritual suffering on top of it all, but still, a guy living with cancer for ten years slowly painfully dying seems pretty harsh, plus the whole pointlessness aspect again. On the other hand, if His suffering was so much worse with the sin, being forsaken part, then it’s not even a fair comparison that way either. I’m sure I’ll get in trouble for this one, but I just don’t see a comparison, nor does Scripture ever hint that we should make a comparison.

4) Heaven and future glory seems to be the one thing Scripture tells us to look at when it comes to overcoming suffering.

5) When the Scripture does speak of partaking in the sufferings of Christ it is referring to hardship brought on by living for Christ–persecution–not cancer and projectile vomiting.

In conclusion, telling people to look at Christ’s sufferings to get you through your own may work and again, it’s never bad to think on the cross. But let’s be careful that we don’t use the cross merely to make a whiner quit whining around us so we can get back to life without being troubled with the whining.

One thought on “The Sufferings of Christ and Your Sufferings”

  1. Be careful not to fall for the “But Jesus didn’t deserve the suffering, but we deserve ours” line of reasoning too. This is the line Job’s friends took and God didn’t seem to appreciate that.

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