Reflections: Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

Today’s Reading: 1 Peter 2:21-25

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 38:21-39:8; Luke 8:1-21 

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
(1 Peter 2:21)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The beginning of our reading today isn’t quite clear as to what we have been called to. We need to go back to verse 20 to grasp what this is: “For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God” (1 Peter 2:20). 

Great, this sounds like a calling that is really motivating. We are called to “suffer”? To be honest, most of us are willing to suffer for Christ, but it has to be something big and inspiring. The nitty-gritty, day-to-day stuff that we face in our lives isn’t worth it. Give us the big stuff, where it is crystal clear that we are truly suffering on account of Jesus. The crosses that God appoints for us are not inspiring or majestic, they are just painful and seem so ordinary. 

The truth is that the glorious suffering of the heroes of the faith was not all that glorious for them. The luster of glory that descends on them comes from time and space between us and them. For them, it was the pain of the moment, and the ache that was happening right then. There was nothing of glory or fame or pleasure about it while they endured it. 

Likewise, the Cross of Christ was not all majestic and glorious for Him to endure. It was pain and nails and sweat and humiliation and burning agony inside and out. Then it was death. That is what the price was for your salvation. “By His stripes you are healed!” Your sins have been forgiven for Christ’s sake. Now He has been made Shepherd of your soul. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Why should cross and trial grieve me? Christ is near With His cheer; Never will He leave me. Who can rob me of the heaven That God’s Son For me won When His life was given? (“Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me” LSB 756, st.1)

-Rev. Kent Schaaf is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Little Rock, AR.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.