To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:21-23 (NIV)
Jesus left us an example.
As we follow Jesus to the cross, we learn what it means to be disciples. We are called to love others as He loves, serve with humility, treat outcasts as equals, call out hypocrisy, and entrust ourselves to God. Even in His suffering, Jesus is our model.
He didn’t retaliate. He didn’t threaten revenge. While His lips were sealed, I’m certain His heart was in prayer for His oppressors. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught “But I say love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matt 5:44) Can you even imagine praying for the one ripping flesh from your back or spitting in your face?
What is our suffering?
Is it the dismissive eye roll in response to objections to profanity? Is it being excluded from neighborhood book group because we don’t gossip? Is it explaining to our child that they’re sitting the bench for choosing worship over practice? Is it losing a job for maintaining Christian values?
None of our suffering compares to His and yet He didn’t respond bitterly. He prayed for changed hearts and God’s forgiveness.
Jesus set a high bar and we are called to follow. (tweet this)
Will you make the difficult choice no matter the consequence?