The Suffering and The Glory
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
What a glorious event! Not only God, the Good Shepherd, walking down the road with these two wandering sheep, (for they had left the company of believers and were going in their own chosen way.), but God, the Word, opening the entirety of the Scriptures for them, by revealing Himself as the only subject of the Holy Writ! (John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.) And in doing so, he summarizes the revelation of God under just two categories – The Suffering and The Glory!
And what was the result? Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, They had spiritual heart burn! It wasn’t just dull, dry, religious rhetoric! It was the living word, effectually imparted!
Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. John 7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
His words opened their dead hearts as his word had opened the ears of dead Lazarus, commanding him to life! To them his rebukes were direction changing! Eccl. 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. It was this same voice that called the world into existence in distinction from himself! Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
And later his voice opened the scriptures to all the disciples! Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
And this set ablaze the flame of gospel evangelism that would call all the wandering sheep into the eternal fold without the loss of one! John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
And, as previously said, he not only reveals himself to be the sole subject of the scriptures, but he gives a two part summary of his revelation! Peter echoes this in his first epistle. 1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. For here Peter, in speaking of the writings of the Old Testament prophets, which was all the Bible there was at that time, reveals these same two categories.
The entirety of all Christian hope and comfort are found in this as well! The Apostle Paul determined not to know anything but Jesus Christ, and him crucified! And in knowing by experience the sufferings of Christ, he was, and is, greatly used in comforting those who find themselves in the mortifications of Christ’s afflictions! Col. 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
For he writes that there are both “the sufferings” followed by “the consolation.” Therefore he says that the preparation of the minister to comfort the Lord’s people is not so much in the accumulation of religious knowledge, for knowledge puffeth up! But the only thing that prepares a true, God-called minister to aid the Lord’s people is his own sufferings! God did not say that Paul should be anointed for great preaching, but for great suffering! Acts 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
For it is in these that he comes to have a stedfast hope for them! 2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
And this glorious truth was hidden in public revelation! For the reason that this is not known is not that it hasn’t been openly stated, but it is because of men’s hearts not being able to receive it! Matt. 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Preachers like Peter at this stage, find it more to their liking to fight the government, than go through a cross! They had rather mistake a misplaced patriotism for the Christian spirit than suffer so that the church can benefit from them! This glorious truth has not been hidden! It has been openly revealed! It’s just that many are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (Phil. 3:18).
Before Peter ever comes to be broken and weep bitterly in repentance, in order to finally write, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trials,” he secures a sword and cuts off an officials ear, aiming, I’m sure, for his head! So the gospel without the spirit of the suffering servant produces a militant religion!
But listen at the Lord’s description of his people: Zeph. 3:12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.
The Eunuch asked a very important question as Philip joined him in his chariot, on his way home from church without hearing the gospel that day. Acts 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Yes! Just who is the suffering servant of God? We must carefully answer this question!
We sing the answer, but don’t seem to know in our hearts that which our mouths are singing!
“Must Jesus bear the cross alone,
And all the world go free?
No! There’s a cross for everyone,
And there’s a cross for me!”
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Do any professing believers in America even know what these following words mean? Are these words even relevant to any American church goer? 2 Cor. 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
Phil. 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 2 Tim. 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:
God have mercy.
Pastor Gene Breed
May 13, 2010