Monthly Archives: October 2012

On Possessing God’s Character in a Broken World

Because Jesus Christ is both divine and human, His final words on the cross
reveal not only the work and character of God but also God’s intention for us in a
broken world.

“I thirst.” The One who comforted grieving hearts, healed the sick, raised the
dead and fed the hungry now experiences suffering Himself. In this sinful world, no
one is immune from suffering, not even God as He voluntarily absorbs our suffering
humanity in His own person.

Like Jesus, we are called to help those who suffer, but we should also expect to
suffer in this world ourselves. Not only does God take on our suffering, but He shows us
what we must expect ourselves.

“It is finished.” Jesus completed the work for which He came to earth. Although
He was only 33 years old, He said and did everything necessary to accomplish His
mission. Suffering and death did not prevent His earthly purpose but became a tool
in its fulfillment. In this sense, the enemies of Jesus, both earthly and spiritual, utterly
failed to neutralize Him.

How many of us complete the work for which God made us? Death is the enemy
of the person without God. Earthly life seems so absurdly short because we seem to
accomplish and say so little of permanent significance. Within a century after we are
gone, most of us are totally forgotten by succeeding generations.

How to overcome this final absurdity is the ultimate question of all persons,
whether they are prince or peasant. Only God has the answer to this ultimate question,
and He carried it in an earthly body subject to suffering and death.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (from Luke 23:46). I know of people
who curse in their last moment of life, or scream in terror as death overtakes them. But
Jesus ends His earthly life with complete trust in His Father’s ability to vindicate His
life, suffering and death.

Jesus died a physical wreck on a Friday afternoon, His earthly body bloodied by
thorns, whips, nails and spears, His spirit seared by the mocking men who slandered
His holy and sinless name and life. But on Sunday morning, Jesus rises from the grave
in glory, demonstrating His final authority over pain, suffering and death.

Jesus tells us, “Whosoever believes in me shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“Trust me,” Jesus says. “What I accomplished from Good Friday to Easter Sunday
can become yours as well as you trust me” (from John 3:16).

Trust Jesus to use your suffering as a tool to accomplish His purpose in your life.
Trust Jesus to help you accomplish the purpose for which God created you. Trust Jesus
to help you safely enter death’s door into glory.

Long before you take your last earthly breath, you can experience theImage
resurrection power of God in this life, just as Jesus did. As Paul says: “But if the Spirit
of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from
the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you”
(Romans 8:11).

As we live from day to day, let us remember this wonderful news, and let us take
the Good News to all in India who thirst for the righteousness of God and the answer to
life’s sufferings.