It’s Easter: the horror and despair of Friday becomes the glory and victory of Sunday.
But if we want Sunday, we have to know Friday.
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Have a quick think about that verse.
Remember what this week looked like for Jesus.
If we’re going to share his glory, we’re going to share his suffering too.
Humiliation, betrayal, public shame, whipping, crucifixion.
Are you going to share in that?
Let’s not pretend any of us really know the answer to that question. But let’s remember for a minute that every day some Christian somewhere is being asked that question, and has no choice but to give an answer.
Christian, are you going to share in the suffering of your God?
Some will say no. Maybe that would be us. Maybe the reality is that I do not know Christ well enough to accept public humiliation in his name. Maybe the reality is that you do not know Christ well enough to accept a beating in his name.
Some will say yes. Maybe that would be us. Maybe the reality is that I do follow Christ closely enough that I would bear a whipping in his name. Maybe the reality is that you do follow Christ closely enough to be crucified in his name.
Maybe these hypotheticals don’t even matter. Maybe for you and me they’re pointless questions which we’ll never have to answer.
But when Christ calls his children to share in his sufferings, for some of our family he is asking a very real question.
Child, will you share in my suffering?
In China, Christian human rights lawyer Zhang Kai will spend Easter in prison.
In Eritrea, Senet spent six years in prison because she refused to deny Christ.
In Yemen, 16 people died in an attack on a Christian care home.
When we think of Christ’s sufferings this week, let’s also remember those who suffer with him.