No skipping to the end
During the wedding of Prince Humperdinck and Buttercup (in the movie The Princess Bride), the prince became impatient and told the clergyman to skip to the end. He was a very busy man – in fact, he was swamped. We are often like Humperdinck, wanting to skip to the end so we can get on with other things. We want to skip things like illness, grief, hard times and anything even a little bit unpleasant. It’s a natural human desire – we don’t want to suffer.
One of the reasons Jesus came to earth as a human was just for that purpose – to suffer. He not only came to suffer and die, but he also entered into our suffering. He took on our pain, sorrow, misery and even hopelessness to redeem all the sin and evil that come with being human. Paul understood this to the point of wanting to suffer with Christ, as he said in Philippians 3:10-11: ‘I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!’ (NLT).
We know we can’t avoid pain and suffering and we also know death awaits us all. We’d like to skip over all of that and get to the joyous, wonderful time when we will share eternity with God, but as Paul said, sharing Jesus’ suffering and death gives us a way to really know him and to experience the incredible power that raised him from the dead – the power that will allow us to share in his resurrection.
We certainly will have life after death, but we can also count on having a rocky road along the way. Let’s embrace it the way Paul did, asking God not when we can get out of the suffering, but what we can get out of it. Jesus didn’t skip to the end and neither can we, but oh how glorious new life with him will be!
Study by Tammy Tkach
First published on 9 August 2022, at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
About the writer:
Tammy Tkach is the Assistant Pastor of the Eugene, Oregon, USA congregation. She is a speaker and writer, and publishes a blog at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
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