For Christ’s Sake: A Less Palatable Exchange

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Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

In Christian circles we typically talk of a “great exchange”. Jesus lived the perfect life we are called to live, and died the death we deserve for our sin. Jesus bore the wrath, and we receive the blessing. God treated Jesus as though he committed our sin, and now treats us as though we lived Christ’s perfect life.

But there is another exchange which seems much less palatable. Jesus left the throne of heaven to come to earth. He suffered on earth for us so that we might not suffer in eternity. We would think it best if we would be spared earthly suffering because Jesus rescued us from eternal suffering right? But Jesus calls us to something better. He calls us to imitate him. He suffered on earth for us so that we would not suffer eternally. He now calls us to suffer for him on earth because he took away our eternal suffering.

For Christ’s sake, God gifts each one of his children the opportunity to not only “believe” in Christ, but to “suffer” for Christ. He suffered for our sake; why do we resist suffering for his?

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