Since therefore Christ suffered in he flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

1 Peter 4: 1, 2

 

Christ did something that most people are very reluctant to consider. He suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Christ did it all in obedience to the Father, and He went to the cross in the place of every one of us. His was the willing sacrifice of self for the eternities of all others. The blood that He shed on that cross was poured out upon the altar of grace as He paid for the rebelliousness of humanity.

 

As a follower of Christ, I am asked by God to follow the path to that cross that Jesus travelled. It is not necessary for me to climb up onto the cross, for that would elevate me to a level that is far too high and that tortured task has already been completed. However, I am asked to enter into the suffering and even into the death that Christ endured. For most people that does not mean facing the literal end of this life. However, it usually means that we are leaving behind the comfort and the safety of the life that we have known so that we can travel the dangerous streets of a true disciple of Christ.

 

In fact, for most people and for significant periods of time, God has plans for us and a Kingdom of God oriented purpose for our lives to fulfill. Yet, as we submit ourselves to Christ and allow Him to replace our desire for pleasure with one that worships Him and seeks God’s will, we are changed. This path that is littered with the suffering and the loss that sin has produced is also the road to holiness. Christ takes us along this way and places us into the middle of the brokenness of this world so that we can reach out with His love, grace, and mercy to touch the wounded with the soul-deep healing of Christ. This journey of love is God’s will for each of His people.