Quote Alistair Begg. From the book Name Above Names
It is this theology of the cross that we find here. God grant that in seeing Christ as the Suffering Servant we will be done once and for all with the superficial triumphalism that sadly emanates from too many Christian organizations and churches. Have you ever considered the fact that on the average Sunday, pastors minister to congregations of people whose lives are marked—and often marred—by quiet desperation? Sadly, some churches, and the finance-seeking “ministries” that sprout in abundance, have become very skilled at masking all this with promises of victory and a life beyond the reach of pain and sorrow.
Masking tape to cover deep needs is always a profoundly unhelpful and unrealistic antidote for broken hearts. Using it betrays a deeply unbiblical—and indeed ultimately cruel—theology. And, sadly, the broken and overwhelmed and shattered and sordid and sad are never pointed to the Suffering Servant, who will love them, sympathize with them, save them, and graciously and gradually transform them.
Our churches will have all too little ministry to the least and last, the lost and left out, until we are prepared to acknowledge that Christ himself was a suffering servant who entered into the depths of our humanity. We therefore, as followers of Jesus, albeit still sinners, must be suffering servants.
Our smiles of superficial triumph repel rather than attract those who are wrestlers with the troubled sea of life. The silly affirmations of God’s intervention in our lives taking us beyond the realm of trial and difficulty, the sort of testimony to the work of Jesus that seems to suggest that if you are a Christian in a hurry, then all the traffic lights will go in your favor, or that your daughters will be pretty, or that your sons will be handsome and get the best jobs, or that you will always gets A’s on your test—all this is demolished by the biblical gospel. Christians are indeed winners, but the prize is waiting on the other side of suffering.
How could we ever imagine it would be different, when our Lord and Savior came as a suffering servant?
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