Thursday, 26 January 2012

This is the way it has to be

In the story of Jesus' arrest in Matthew 26:47-56, things seem to be vastly unfair. Jesus hasn't done anything wrong, yet he is arrested in a humiliating way, betrayed by one of his disciples. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of his companions fights back to defend Jesus. But, Jesus assures them that this is how things have to be (verse 54).

Jesus points out (verse 53) that he could call out to the Father and summon legions of angels to intervene, but he chooses not to. Somehow Jesus' suffering is going to achieve something great. Somehow, these horrible acts will fulfil God's plans. Jesus could change things - he is not powerless - and God could have intervened to stop his son suffering, but mysteriously they both choose not to stop this suffering.

I wonder if this is sometimes true for our circumstances, too. It is not that God cannot do anything or enjoys watching us suffer. It is not that our prayers are somehow inadequate. Instead, could it be that in some mysterious way our suffering might also help fulfil a plan and spill over into something good, blessing others? Is it possible that sometimes, horrifying though it may be, this is the way it has to be?

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