This world was created very good, but was susceptible to pain, shame and suffering.
Interesting that this same world was delivered through pain, shame, and suffering.
This world is a fallen world. Fallen from its original very good state. It has been subjected to sin and evil and has become a world of pain, shame and suffering.
But all is not lost.
God, in His plan of love and deliverance, included moving history through this world towards a new one… a new heaven and new earth. God is His plan stepped into this world Himself, as Deliverer, entering in as the person of Jesus Christ.
He entered this our world, our story, to redeem, to save and deliver.
Here’s an interesting reality: this saving and deliverance came through pain, shame, and suffering… the very things that came about when evil entered in.
But it was through pain, shame, and suffering that evil itself would be destroyed and sin and death dealt with.
It was through the pain, shame, and suffering which Jesus endured all His life, culminating at the cross, that Jesus delivers us from these very things.
That is the story of Easter.
At the cross, He suffered pain and shame at the hands of men, and most intensely suffered the full wrath of God against sin (sin of the whole human race), all the while destroying the works of the devil.
Sin paid for, for all who would believe in Him. ‘Freedom for the captives’. Reconciliation with the God who made us.
The works of evil destroyed. Satan defeated.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.”
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”Mark 10:45 // 1 John 3:8
Deliverance means freedom. And freedom means hope. All this for those who believe.
And when He rose from the dead, death itself was defeated.
Now physical death for the believer becomes an entrance into eternal life. The sting of death, sin, is removed, and the Way is made clear to the Father through Jesus.
What an amazing God. And what an amazing Deliverer, Jesus Christ. The celebration of Easter is so sweet.
The road Jesus travelled was one filled with pain, shame and suffering… resulting in deliverance and victory! For us too!
What of our pain, shame and suffering?
Now as His victorious followers, we are given new life in Him. But He reminds us that new life in this world will still include varying degrees of brokenness, and varying degrees of pain, shame, and suffering until this world is done away with. Suffering can only have ultimate meaning in relation to God. He did after all, experience it too.
“Take up your cross and follow me.” says Jesus.
This current world will continue until God decides in His plan. While He ‘goes and prepares a place for us’, we are called to walk in the way of Jesus, a road of suffering as He walked, but in the strength He provides. In a way this helps us not get too attached to this current broken world… “to hold loosely the things of this world”. Instilled in us is a longing for more, for full redemption, full renewal, and the ushering in of a new heaven and a new earth.
The way of suffering is also the way of testing and growing us in our faith in Jesus Christ… growing us in following the way He wants us to go, the way He opens to us. Suffering and frustration help us fix our eyes on Jesus (not on ourselves), and excite us for eternity, where pain, shame, and suffering will be no longer.
Life here on earth can have its good times and bad times, but life with Jesus eternally will be beyond all we could ask or imagine.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Hebrews 12:2
Do you see anyone around you suffering this Easter? Proclaim this message of hope in Jesus. He knows our pain; even deeper He went through it Himself on our behalf, clearing the Way to the Father. He doesn’t leave us unto ourselves. He walks with us and dwells with us through His Spirit. He will lead us through this world and into our eternal home.
That’s the message of deliverance, freedom, and hope this Easter.
Let us then live each day in this hope and so declare it. He gives grace and power for us to endure, while He tarries. He tarries, because as ‘He prepares a place for us’, the number of all those who will receive and believe this hope in Him has not yet been filled. So go ahead and make it known today.
And let’s hope He comes soon!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33