Driving in traffic the other day, i saw an unusual bumper sticker. It read, “Jesus lives to ease my suffering.”
My first reaction after reading this was, “Wow, i haven’t seen that one before.”
My next reaction to reading this was, “Wait a minute! What?!”
Now, i’m going to say something that might sound a little bit counter-cultural, a little bit daring, and maybe even a little bit offensive:
Jesus does not live to ease suffering. Yours or mine. Nobody’s.
Before you get all tied up in knots let me explain what i mean.
Jesus does ease suffering. Dying on the cross over 2000 years ago, one of the things that was ultimately taken care of was the fact that the blood of Jesus eases suffering. Living a life devoted to God through the salvation Jesus paid for on the cross eases suffering.
But that’s not why Jesus lives!
And once again, i’m going to say something that might sound a little counter-cultural, a little bit daring, and maybe even a little bit offensive:
It’s not about you! It’s not about me!
Society has dictated that the most important person in the world is me. Culture dictates that things exist to enhance my life. And Christians have bought into this lie hook, line, and sinker. Even those in the church are deceived by the me, myself and I mentality. “I need to be in control.”
The problem with this mentality is that it seeps its way into our understanding of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ. The problem with this mentality is that it dictates that Jesus lives for me. That God exists to cater to my needs and desires.
God does take care of your needs and desires. But that is not the reason he exists.
You see, It’s all about Him. It’s not about you. It certainly isn’t about me.
God does not exist for us. We exist for him. He created us to have a relationship with us.
Yes, Jesus eases suffering. But that is not why he lives. He lives to have fellowship with us.
The Church (capital C, as in, worldwide body of believers) need to start thinking differently. We need to recognize that we are being deceived by a clever manipulation that tries to dictate that things exist for us. We need to wake up.
And realize that it is we who exist to bring glory to God.