I’ve always thought that Jesus endured suffering on earth so He could relate to us as humans. I imagined He had to come down to earth…almost like a human-suffering boot camp. If He was going to be a Savior, He had to learn to relate to us. So, as any good parent would, God did the hard thing and sent Jesus to human-suffering boot camp on planet Earth.
But what if it wasn’t like that at all? What if it was the other way around? What if we experience suffering so we can relate better to Jesus–to know Him more intimately?
“For it has been granted (like a gift) to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,”–Philippians 1:29 (parenthesis added for clarification)
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”–Philippians 3:10
Could it be that we can’t really know Jesus unless we have participated in his suffering? Because He loves us so much, so intimately that He grants it us to suffer with Him? Wow! Really? #mindblown
Strange how we can turn something as brutal as Christ’s crucifixion into something me-centric. Was it one of us that got up there to take on the weight of humanity’s sin? Did you bear the burden of mankind’s physical and spiritual suffering? Me either. Yet, we manage to make it about what Christ needed to endure so He could understand US.
How can our perspective be so skewed, so way off? When it comes to suffering, we only see a partial picture of what’s going on.
Have you ever noticed how much money we spend on children’s toys? It is ridiculous, especially, when you consider the toys that seem to get the most use and affection are ones like the empty paper towel roll. My children actually fight over who gets to play with it. It makes no sense. Yet, there is something about watching a 3-year-old become a pirate with a spy glass made from a piece of cardboard that warms the heart. Kie will walk boldly through the house, spy glass over his eye, declaring his valiant intentions to “save the treasure” and “Yo Ho, Let’s Go!” Unfortunately because he’s walking through the house looking through a small hole, he misses things around him like the couch and the left out toys. It doesn’t take long before we are bandaging a boo-boo caused by the spy glass incident.
Not until he removes the “spy glass” from his eye does he see all that he was missing. It changes his whole perspective.
We assuredly see the world through our own small spy glass. Yet, Jesus came to change our perspective. Jesus’ purpose for coming as a human wasn’t so He could understand us but so we could understand Him.
Jesus came to “open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:7)
It’s all so backwards to us. Too often because of our small perspective we run as far away from discomfort as we can. We intentionally lull ourselves in a comfort that blinds us to our captivity and we miss out on what’s available to us through Jesus. We walk around looking through a spy glass thinking we’ve got the whole picture.
We need to quit looking through our small, fleshly lens and ask God to open our eyes to see His hand at work.
Question: Have you been walking around with a “spy glass” when it comes to the circumstances in your life? How could your perspective change if you saw things through God’s eyes?