YOU SHOULD HAVE READ THE FINE PRINT
Everything looks better on the brochure. The trip to Cabo. Getting married. Adopting a puppy. Having kids. You should have read the fine print.
Even deciding to trust in Jesus seemed all upside. Sins forgiven. Eternal life. New family. What could go wrong? Sorry to be the one to break it to you. You should have read the fine print.
Here is what the fine print says in one place:
“It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.” Philippians 1:29
Yes, you get to believe in him and suffer for him. It’s a package deal.
Jesus included you in everything he did. He served, suffered, died, rose and ascended on your behalf and mine. He was the last Adam. The true Israel. The suffering servant. This is the message you believe. It’s true!
But, if you follow a suffering servant messiah, where do you think he is going? Like water flows downhill, Jesus heads lower and lower. He always humbles himself to serve the least, to seek the lost, to suffer with the suffering.
Jesus said this was where following him would lead. “Pick up your cross and follow me” was as much a part of his invitation as “Come to me you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Sorry if I didn’t mention that.
Suffering is part of the deal.
If you are feeling disillusioned, that’s ok. Who wants to live in illusions anyway? Personally, I want to live in reality.
The reality is that our suffering finds meaning in his suffering. He suffered on our behalf and we suffer on his. In fact, suffering brings us closer to him in solidarity. Paul said it this way later in his letter.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11
Only dead people rise again. Death is on the other side of suffering. The only way out is through.
Yes, resurrection and restoration are where we are headed. It was not a marketing trick. The promise is as sure as anything. You just have to go through suffering and death to get there.
You should have read the fine print. – Todd