The suffering of Jesus is not incompatible with his glory. Peter had a difficult time negotiating the two. It didn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense. And as much as I know it, it still baffles my mind.
Why would Jesus subject himself to the ignorant evils of mankind? Why would he surrender himself to an undeserving wrath? That kind of love is far beyond our simple minds to conceive. We are incapable of understanding that kind of love. We are helpless to give that kind of love.
But Jesus understood. Jesus understood the long, painful walk that was set out before him. He not only knew it, he chose it. And he chose it willingly.
Common sense is what Peter and the other disciples had. Unjustly dying at the hands of fools doesn’t seem wise, especially when you have the power to do something about it. But God operates outside of our so called common sense. He’s not bound to the “logical” thinking of humans. But that’s our problem, we think we know more than our creator. We convince ourselves our ways are higher and better. We are so shallow.
God sees the landscape with an eternal perspective. He’s not limited by our idea of fairness. We greatly minimize the power of God when we restrict ourselves to our idea of justice. We think we know, when we have no idea what justice really is. But God does.
That long, dusty road sprinkled with blood was with purpose. That road that seemed so cruel and unfair was carved out by God. That was the old stone steet in Jerusalem where he picked up his cross and never looked back. The Via Dolorosa. The way of suffering was the only way to glory.
He gave Peter a glimpse of that glory when he took him to the mount of transfiguration. He pulled the veil of heaven back so Peter could see what was to come. Peter wouldn’t understand. It wouldn’t make sense until several years later. But he finally got it. It finally clicked. Glory only comes through the road of suffering.
You may not understand why you are on that road. It may not make sense. That long dark road that seems painful and isolating, he’s right there with you. And he sees. He sees it all. He pulls back the veil of his plan through his word and reminds us that there is a bigger picture being painted. One that includes his kingdom. One that he has purposed for you. You can trust that.
Whatever your Via Dolorosa is, he’s on that path with you. God wants you to know, suffering IS compatible with glory. The road you walk is not for not. Carry your cross. Don’t look back. He’s positioning you with great intention