"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
My wife and I watched the Passion Of The Christ yesterday, and it was only the second time in our almost nine year marriage.
It helped to remind us of why we suffer persecution and rejection on a daily basis, and it helped me to see how focused Jesus was on finishing the work that God gave Him to do.
It also helped us to realize that what we go through every day, doesn't come close to being compared to what Jesus went through for us. Paul helps us to keep our sufferings and afflictions in proper perspective.
2nd Corinthians 4:16-17
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,"
What Jesus suffered through and did on the cross for all man-kind is the greatest act of sacrifice, self denial, and obedience that can ever be done. He was holy, perfect, without sin, righteous, full of grace and truth, yet He was treated as a common criminal, a blasphemer, beaten beyond recognition, and crucified by sinful men.
"Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;"
"The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting."
Let us never forget why we follow Jesus, let us never forget why we bear the name Christian!