Sunday, April 27, 2014

Improper Concepts of Purpose

As I read through the crucifixion account again this past Easter week, I was struck by an aspect that I had not really previously paid much attention to. I was struck by how little Jesus' disciples understood the meaning of the cross, and, in light of that lack of understanding, their own level of agony as they seemed to grieve not only the sufferings of their teacher, but (seemingly) the also the death of their dreams. As they watched Jesus suffer and die, they had to grieve the loss of who they thought Jesus was and what he would do for them and for Israel. Of course, in hindsight, we can see how the disciples plainly missed so much of Jesus' teaching and prophesy about the purpose of His life, and the meaning of the cross. As a result of "missing" this teaching, the disciples were grieving. If they had understood Jesus teaching, and expected it, then they would have reacted much differently than how we see they reacted in the gospel accounts. Similar to Jesus's disciples, I wonder how much of my own life I "miss" when it comes to the proper understanding of the meaning of our sufferings. Certainly, we will never understand (at least not on this side of eternity), the meaning of all of our sufferings. But can we not just admit that we don't know all the purposes, and rather than assuming certain sufferings are "waste," live in the hope that no suffering is wasted for those who "are called according to His purpose?"