Waiting For Sunday
On this Good Friday, we mourn all the more the loss of Bethany, but we do so with hope knowing that Sunday is coming. If you’re not familiar with our story, browse around the site to learn more.
For the Father to be conforming us to the image of His Son (Rom 8:29) means that not only will we be made like Him in His death and suffering but we will also be made like Him in His resurrection and joyful triumph (Rom 8:17). It’s Friday and we mourn, but we rejoice that Sunday is coming (see video below).
Like Him In Death
Many people think (and have been misled to believe) that as a follower of Christ we are not meant to suffer – that if we have enough faith or pray hard enough, we can somehow avoid suffering. There is much I’d like to say about why this idea stands in contradiction to the gospel and will have to save that discussion for another time but I will say that the primary reason this teaching is unbiblical is that Jesus Himself told us that if we follow Him, we too will suffer (John 16:33). We tend to think that by attending church, reading our Bibles, and praying, God owes it to us to give us a relatively good life, but we are never promised a good life, in fact we are promised just the opposite – that “in this world we will have trouble.”
As followers of Christ we identify ourselves with Him (as illustrated in baptism) so it only makes sense that if He suffered, we too will suffer. But we need to know that in both cases the suffering is not without purpose.
HIS suffering is for our good and for His glory. It is because of His suffering and death like a criminal on a cross that we can be redeemed (Gal 3:13). Our ultimate good is a result of His suffering. Not only was His suffering for our good, but it was for His own glory. The result of Christ’s sacrificial death for us, was that He be exalted (Phil 2:8-9) and the Father glorified (John 12:27-28).
OUR suffering is for our good and for His glory. Just like Christ’s suffering, our suffering is also for our own good (Rom 8:28). It’s through our suffering that God produces perseverance and character in us (Rom 5:3-5; James 1:2-4). Our suffering, like His, is also ultimately for His glory. If we suffer well, it is a picture of the gospel, how Christ suffered for us and this ultimately brings Him glory.
Like Him In Resurrection
Because we share in His death and suffering we also share in the triumph and glory of His resurrection (Rom 8:17). We have hope as we endure suffering knowing that there will be a day when Jesus makes all things right and just as He has risen from the dead, we too will rise with Him. On that glorious day we will suffer no more and live forever in perfected bodies, in perfect harmony with one another and with our Lord.
The resurrection of Christ proves that Jesus has conquered sin and death and has secured for us our salvation. Now death has lost its sting (1 Cor 15:54-57) and because of that we have hope in the resurrection of Christ. We pray this truth would be a source of comfort and hope for all of us who suffer and prompt in us sincere and authentic worship of the God of all hope.
We live now in a world where the effects of sin and death are very real. We do suffer just as Christ suffered. It’s (Good) Friday and we mourn death and suffering. On this day we remember not only the death of our Lord on a cross, but we remember the death of our loved ones, particularly Bethany as this marks one week since we buried her. But we mourn with the understanding that Sunday is coming. The death of Christ is not the end of the story. We look forward with hope because He did rise from the dead. And since He has risen, we too will rise, Bethany will rise, we will be reunited with her and with our Lord, our pain and suffering will be removed, and we will live forever in glory.
The following video sums it up very well. It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming…