For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:3-4 HCSB)
When was the last time you thought about the suffering of Jesus? I don’t mean a brief thought but really deeply contemplated it. Why would he urge this? Perhaps it is because of our tendency to imagine our own suffering to be far worse than the suffering of others. When we contemplate the suffering of our Lord and realize that he endured… he stayed under that heavy load for us our focus is lifted from our suffering and transformed into a song of praise.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the prince of glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride
See from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ere such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Sometimes people speak about their “cross to bear.” None of us have borne a cross like this. God forbid that I should ever compare my light and momentary affliction to the suffering of my Lord. My struggle is nothing compared to His. I have not shed one drop of blood and He gave every last drop for the sins of the world.
He endured a cross for me. No one took His life; He willingly gave it. And now He calls me to take up my cross; just like He did. To deny myself, like Him.