Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Example of Jesus to Endure

“Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you many not grow weary or lose heart.”

~Hebrews 12:3 (NRSV).

I recall The Passion of the Christ (2004) and those scenes where Jesus (played by James Caviezel) was flogged heinously prior to his execution on the cross. I saw that film in its premiere season no less than seven times, as at that time I was journeying through my own Gethsemane experience.

The emotional pain played out in the flogging scene was felt by everyone who watched it, I’m sure. But did Jesus not also endure many different sorts of pains during his entire lifetime, particularly as he cast his compassionate eye over a wayward humanity?

When we focus on the verse above—perhaps stricken in our own calamitous tumults—we will see Jesus there, in our midst, suffering again as if for the first time... to give us this salvation life, which is life—and a way of thinking—to get us through these present difficulties.

Perhaps we will see Jesus empathising with us, travelling with us, like no one ever could or would.

Jesus—this very personal Jesus—endured so we too could have the exemplification of endurance, and this is not Stoic endurance. It is the endurance to rely in trust on God our Father.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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