For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
– Romans 8:14-18 (emphasis added)
Today we focus on a point which is related to a point I have made repeatedly in recent days: that the arc of Messiah’s experience was suffering followed by glory. Recall that the Old Testament was a collection of seemingly contradictory prophecies which only made sense in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. As He Himself rhetorically asked His disciples after His resurrection:
“Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
– Luke 24:26 (emphasis added)
You may also recall that this messianic trajectory was referenced by Peter in a post from about three months ago:
…the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
– 1 Peter 1:10-11 (emphasis added)
And even a couple of days ago, we saw in Paul’s preaching that he…
…reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead…
– Acts 17:2-3 (emphasis added)
The phrase “rise again from the dead” is, of course, the first of the glories bestowed on Jesus subsequent to His death – the others being ascension into heaven, installation at the right hand of God, and, finally, coming in the eternal kingdom of God.
In today’s passage, you can see that the arc of Jesus’ life is to be the arc of our lives. That is, this life is for suffering, the next one is for glory.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, help us live our earthly lives as humbly as You lived Yours…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)