The Model Sufferer

Steve Macchia

READ : John 18:1-11

Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me? (v. 11 NIV)

In an olive grove called the Garden of Gethsemane the drama began to unfold. There Christ is confronted by his betrayer and a detachment of soldiers. They are in search of Jesus of Nazareth and he willingly responds with the simple words, “I am he.”

In tempestuous anger, Peter draws his sword and cuts off the high priest’s servant’s ear. But Jesus silences the altercation by commanding Peter to put his sword away. Willingly Christ drinks the cup of suffering given to him by the Father.

I’m not one for embracing suffering, especially if I know it’s coming my way. I dodge it, avoid it, minimize it . . . but rarely will I embrace it. One mentor encouraged me in the midst of a violent relational storm, “Someday you will be thankful for this season of suffering.” It took a few months, but eventually I saw his wisdom. I grew stronger by drinking the cup that was given to me.

In the midst of the suffering that led to his death on the cross, Jesus embraced the Father’s will. It was his most important decision – and our most life-transforming reward. Choose life, even when suffering comes along as its natural companion.

PRAYER

Remind me of your willingness to suffer when I am confronted with heartache.