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He Who Suffered for Our Sins

April 29, 2020

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, there is an understandable focus on suffering. It’s hard to process hardship on such a large scale. For people with ongoing income and health, this suffering is blunted. I’m squarely in this category and I am well aware of the blessings therein. Still, there is loss. Grief. Suffering. These are hard days for all of us.

And for people who have lost income? Health? Those who have had a loved one die? These are greater sufferings than I’ve endured so far. We can name this more intense suffering without negating our own. In fact, I think we should. It leads to solidarity. We’re all in this together, a good reminder for those of us with resources to find ways to help those undergoing greater challenges. That’s what church looks like.

We are all suffering, but solidarity only gets us so far. Our epistle for this coming Sunday reminds us of the One who suffered for all of us. Jesus went to the cross willingly, driven by our sin and yet to forgive our sin. He took our sin upon himself. He suffered. He died. With him, our sin dies, too. Through him, our suffering is overcome. In him, we are redeemed, bought back for the sake of righteousness. You are forgiven.

Whatever you are suffering today, know that Christ has already suffered for you. The cross of Calvary was not the end of Christ. This current crisis will certainly not be the end for us. Easter is always waiting to burst over the horizon. In the meantime, live with righteousness. Help those who suffer. Keep faith. Live with hope.

The Suffering Servant lives again, and in him so do you.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of mercy, you are with us when we suffer. We cry out for hope and healing. We see in your Son, Jesus Christ, the end of suffering and the beginning of new life. In him, let us live for one another. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Crucifixion, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, from 1506-1520 (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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