Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.
Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.Luke 24:25-27
I said in the previous Gems: Calvary was inevitable! The terribleness of sin found as a theme throughout the Old Testament set against the deep love of God for His wayward people made Jesus’ death on the cross inevitable. What is interesting is that the essential problem of this whole section of Luke and all the doubt that is expressed by all parties is that they did not take Jesus at His word when He talked of what the Son of Man had to suffer and how after three days He was to be raised from the dead. Some times when He told various combinations of the disciples these things it was veiled so only those who were astute and had open hearts would get the message, while those who had their own agendas would miss the point completely. That is the point of parables and allusions. They are used to put things in terms that only those who have open hearts will understand.
That sets Jesus’ comments in the appropriate context. The inference being: All you needed for understanding was given to you. You foolish people. The word for “foolish” carries with it the idea of being dull, not thinking through things correctly. Not considering all the implications. You are dull witted because you did not put all the pieces together. All you needed for understanding was in the Scriptures that you pour over day by day, yet you still missed it. Even when I, Jesus, told you of the things to come. The things the prophets of old told you, even the writings of Moses told you and still you missed it. All of the Hebrew Scriptures are filled with the allusions to the fact that the Messiah must suffer. It was predicted by all the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory. The Scriptures that you are so familiar with gave you all the clues, but you missed it. You missed it simply because you were reading the Scripture to find what you wanted to find and totally missed the fact that there are “two Messiahs” depicted. There is “Ha Messiach ben Joseph” and there is “Ha Messiach ben David”. Messiah the son of Joseph as Messiah the Suffering Servant and Messiah the son of David as Messiah the conquering kIng. The same Messiah in one person but two Comings. You were so intent on the Messiah coming to free you from foreign oppression and rule that you totally missed the fact He had to first suffer “these things” so that His mission could be expanded to save all people everywhere. He even came to set the oppressors free, but you couldn’t see that.
- Was it not necessary that the Christ (Messiah) had to suffer these things?
- Was it not necessary that the Christ (Messiah) had to enter into His glory?
Both of these statement are dependant on the rhetorical question “Was it not necessary?” The end point of all of this happening was so that the Messiah would enter into His glory. His glorious triumph as the redeemer of all mankind. The very things which were stumbling blocks to you, the rejection, persecution and crucifixion were in order that He enter into His glory as Redeemer. The sufferings were God’s appointed way so that the Christ should enter into His glory. They were keen on the glory idea but missed the path by which the glory would be realised. His glory came THROUGH or BY suffering. The suffering came first because it is the road to glory. To suffer and to enter into your glory come as a total package. You can’t have one without the other in God’s economy. In order to take away the world’s guilt there had to be a price paid.
There is debate among the theologians as to whether the second part of this process (the glorification) was fulfilled in the resurrection or after it in the ascension. But to debate this is to miss the point of it all. It is not two separate issues or matters. It is a total package. Certainly the two, the resurrection and the ascension, belong together. That is what the glorification is all about. But there can be no glorification without the suffering. You can’t separate them. That is the way God works. Notice how many times in Scripture contradictions are bound tightly together. Think about it. If you want to live first you must die to self. If you want to go up (glorification) first you must go down (humility), If you want to lead first you must become a servant. There are many of these dichotomous, paradoxical pairings of ideas in God. You can’t have one without the other. The combination is essential. It is like sweet and sour, light and dark – the pairing is inseparably bound together. I could go on and on but I am sure you get the message now. The fact that these disciples missed the pairing of the Suffering and Reigning Messiah caused their own pain. They were the authors of their own demise. Many of us do the same thing.
What concerns me greatly in this day and age is how quickly modern theology, or if not modern theology then certainly church teaching, is turning towards a Success Oriented Doctrine. You are the Head and not the Tail. You were destined to reign. You are created to be successful because you are God’s creation and God don’t make junk. While that is true God’s way of achieving the success is to burn off the dross and the falsity and imperfections. He does it by taking us through suffering, persecution and pain. These things are His cleansing agents. If it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for you.
Those who created yesterday’s pain, do not control tomorrow’s potential!Rick Godwin
Often we call upon God to ease our pain without wanting Him to change our character.A R Bernard
The comfort zone is for those who are exempt from pain but denied progress; protected from failure but held in the grip of mediocrity. Get up and get out of there while you still can.Bob Gass
Adversity introduces a man to himself. You know more about yourself when you go through pain & suffering.Kong Hee
God uses broken-hearted people because they feel the pain of a fractured world that is separated from God.David Shibley
Pain removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.C S Lewis
Suffering from Truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.Anon