The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions (1)
We tend to believe that the most Christ-like people are those who love others graciously and generously. A Christian’s love for others, always receives the praise of the world.
However, the most Christ-like people are those who suffer unjustly because of the sins of others. In the eyes of the world, we call these people fools, if they suffer quietly and do not seek revenge.
Jesus suffered unjustly because of our sins. He died on the cross, not to get revenge, but to secure the forgiveness of our sins. This is suffering love.
Most Christians refuse to suffer. If suffering comes to us unjustly, we seek to throw it off and we whine to God about the injustice of it all.
Jesus suffered quietly because of our sins.
Jesus considered suffering unjustly and quietly for love’s sake to be the best:
Blessed are those who suffer for righteousness sake.
Blessed are those who suffer when falsely persecuted.
There is no greater love than to lay down your life for others.
The glory of Jesus is revealed not in His resurrection, but in His crucifixion.
God proves Himself, not by flexing His muscles and revealing His death-defying powers, but in His willingness to suffer, to die, as an innocent man.
In his great hymn about Jesus, Paul writes:
Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him. (2)
As you move into Holy Week, remember that the most holy day is not Palm Sunday’s Parade, Passover’s Feast, or Easter’s Resurrection.
The crowning jewel, the most holy moment of Holy Week is on Good Friday when Jesus cries out, “It is finished!”
There is no greater … anything …. than a crown of thorns.
The crown of thorns is a Christian’s halo.
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Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Philippians 2:8–9.