Acts 2:24, 36-38 – whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. … “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
- Reflect On: Acts 2:22-38 & 1 Peter 4:12-13
- Praise God: For the promise of eternal life.
- Offer Thanks: For the way God has enabled you to endure difficulty.
- Confess: Any habit of complaining or any unbelief leading to despair.
- Ask God: To give you the grace to persevere to the end.
Belonging to Him does not insulate us from suffering and death. But it does mean that Christ will be faithful to His mission by raising us to live with Him forever. When Jesus Himself was crucified, it was as though death opened its mouth too wide, unaware that it was attempting the impossible, trying to swallow life itself. No wonder Paul remarks that “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.” So it makes sense that when Christ lives within us through faith, we inherit a kind of spiritual buoyancy that cannot be destroyed by death.
But blending our lives with Christ’s is not like swallowing a pill. Being “in Christ” means that we are called to draw our strength from Him in order to reproduce the patter of His life on a smaller scale. With Him and in Him, we too will suffer, die, and rise. I confess that I like the last bit, about rising, but I shrink back from the part about suffering and dying.
… What kind of suffering have you faced and how have you faced it? If you are like me you may have sometimes responded to difficulty with complaining, evasion, and near despair. But Christ calls each of us to face it with courage, trust, and hope, confident that as we share in His sufferings, we will one day share in His glory.