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The Revelation of the Cross - The Suffering

The Revelation of the Cross post series
«  intro    the suffering    the hell    the joy    the love    the forgiveness    the total surrender    the fellowship  »
A facet of the revelation of the cross is the suffering of Christ (The revelation of His suffering). Every other facet of the revelation of the cross flows from the suffering of Christ; for instance, the cross reveals fellowship (the fellowship of His suffering), the cross reveals/teaches forgiveness (forgiveness in His suffering), and so on.

So, what is the suffering and its significance?

To Jesus on the cross, the suffering was the pain and weight of our sins, the suffering was what He experienced on the cross. Since, Jesus lived a life of sacrifice – even by His coming to the world, the suffering began prior to the physical cross – through His self-denial. To Jesus, the cross was a daily experience, Luke 9:23.

To us the suffering is the experience of Christ. And that phrase “the experience of Christ” sums it all up. It means the suffering is not a seasonal experience, but daily experience – Luke 9:23. The suffering – the experience of Christ, is self-denial. Sometimes, the experience calls for bearing the marks. The revelations we receive come to us either as reality or knowledge (which we subsequently experience). To Paul it was both, so Galatians 6:17 was a reality – Paul bore in His own body the experiences of Jesus.

We experience Christ by revelation – revelation through worship, revelation through study of the word. When this revelation comes: *it opens our minds to the person of Jesus – His love, and gentleness, and holiness… *and breaks us to know that a perfect God chose to be a sacrificial lamb for an imperfect world, *and we often respond in awe of Him and the revelation – this is what stirs up true commitment to and love for God – the revelation of His sufferings/the experience of Christ.

The revelation of His suffering is the experience of Him.

Jesus makes it clear that a revelation is an experience in Matthew 16:23 – where He uses the Greek word: phroneō, meaning exercise of the mind – living by revelation. Notice that, in Matthew 16:16-17, Peter had just gotten a revelation of who Jesus was, why then did Jesus say to him ‘you lack phroneō’? – This is because this revelation had to be experienced, it had to be imprinted on Peter.

The revelation of His suffering has an immense impact on one’s prayer life.

This truth is also seen in the life of Peter. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, the disciples/early church began to experience Jesus by revelation of the Spirit; which had an effect on their prayer lives. For instance, with Peter in Matthew 26:40, he was not bothered about prayer, but now living in the revelation – the 1 Peter 5:7 Peter would not take prayer for granted. (Here he taught an uncommon kind of prayer – Casting cares; which in fact reflects the Gethsemane prayer of Jesus, also James taught Persisting in prayer in 5:16 of his epistle.)

This revelation is God’s act of love.

The revelation of Christ’s suffering reveals the life of Jesus in us by depositing/imprinting his marks and his fragrance on us – we call this, the experience of Christ. Now we know the revelation of His suffering is the experience of Christ, we also need to know that it is part of God’s act of love. In Acts 9:16, Jesus speaks to Ananias to go minister to Paul, because He (Jesus) would reveal His suffering to Paul. Scriptural quote:
“For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.”
In that verse, God is not implying to punish Saul/Paul for his acts, no. Paul is already saved, Christian suffering is not in any way unto condemnation, Christian suffering – the experience of Christ is rather unto perfection. So what Jesus is saying is – I will leave my imprint on Paul, he will experience me in fullness. Remember Paul was working in ignorance – Acts 9:4-5 – as a sinner, but God was about to transform him to work in revelational knowledge. This revelation is the foundation of intimacy with God. Galatians 2:20.

I pray that we work in the revelation of the suffering of Christ as God reveals it daily to us and that as we experience Jesus we enjoy the depths of intimacy with Him. Amen.

God bless you.

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