But what does it mean to be a Christian, a follower of Christ? Does it mean we’ll be crucified, too?
It may. At the least, we will surely suffer. Life sees to that.
At times, we cause our own suffering by the bad choices we make. Other times, another person, or circumstance, out of our control may cause it. We may even be betrayed, as Jesus was for thirty pieces of silver.
But one thing I know. God does not cause our suffering. God is loving, always and forever. He never changes in his love for each of us. And he showed us that on the Cross.
Every suffering we encounter is difficult. We don’t want to go through it. We pray for a way to get out of it, just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane when he asked His Father to take it from Him, but assenting that if He would not, then the will of His Father be done. That is the covenant between Son and Father.
Just as with His own son, sometimes the suffering does not leave us. Even when we pray for it to disappear, God allows it to happen for some purpose we may never know in our earthly life.
As my grandmother consistently told me, “Offer up your suffering.” In other words, we may be suffering for others.
This is what Jesus did. He gave himself away, for each and every one of us, leaving His Holy Spirit within us, leaving us as Temples of Himself, leaving us to use Him by showing His loving way to others. This is the covenant God offers us. The same covenant He offered His Son. But we have to accept it. Do we?
If we really believe that He is within us and that we are to be messengers of His Holy Spirit, wouldn’t we give ourselves to others much more than we do?