And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
Hebrews 13: 12

Reading: Isaiah 53; Romans 8: 16-39

What’s the point of suffering? Why does God employ this baptism in our lives? 

Jesus experienced a baptism into suffering – a vicarious suffering predicted by Isaiah – when he was overwhelmed in Gethsemane and on Calvary. 

His suffering was not meaningless, it was not in vain. Jesus’ suffering tested his faith and commitment to God. It taught him obedience and matured him (Hebrews 5: 8). It equipped him with empathy to assist those of us who suffer (Hebrews 2: 14-18). Jesus’ suffering also accomplished a righteous punishment for human sin, with the result, it is able to make men holy (Hebrews 13: 12). 

We too are called to experience a baptism into suffering. And for the same reasons. There are many kinds of suffering in this life but only that which is for the sake of union with Christ, that is endured for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of God, or in order to resist sin (Hebrews 12: 4) can truly be considered a baptism into suffering. As you accept the necessity to baptise into this baptism, you will find that much of your suffering will come through relationships. 

Romans 8: 16 - 39 speaks of the likelihood, indeed the necessity, of suffering for Christ – yet encourages us to do this with the certain knowledge of the eternal glory that it is building for us.


Help me to be willing to baptise into suffering if necessary

For the family

For the next few days, watch this video series (Pt 1) about suffering, together.

Pt 2