Did He Have To Suffer?

This is really one of the thorniest issues in Christian theology – the suffering of Christ. Why did Jesus suffer – was it because of jealousy? Did religious leaders covet the attention Jesus was getting? Was it fear? Did the sacred and secular power-brokers of the day fear the influence Jesus seemed to have on so many? Was it God-ordained – some punishment for sin that kept us from being in communion with the divine?

Why do you suffer? Is it ever self-imposed? Has anyone ever lived who did not experience suffering of some sort in body, mind or spirit? One of the earliest things we learn is that we can’t always have our own way.

Perhaps another way of thinking about the suffering of Christ would be to ask: If Jesus had not suffered, would we want to have anything to do with him?

The books of the bible and theology of full of speculation and various theories as to the point of the suffering of Jesus. And if suffering were the end of the matter we might not be so concerned. But the story doesn’t end there – we have this amazing conclusion called “Resurrection”.

There is no doubt that you will suffer. At some point in life, in some way, we all experience pain and frustration, sadness and disappointment. But the real question is this: Will we rise to it? Will we live in spite of it? The suffering of Jesus isn’t all that mysterious; it’s the resurrection of Jesus that poses the more important question: Will you rise?

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.