Easter Sunday is in four days. I read something in the latest VOM magazine that I thought was rather insightful:
“This month as we celebrate Easter, thousands of churches across the U.S. will focus on Christ’s resurrection from the dead, His great victory over sin and death. In restricted nations, Easter messages are often different. Our persecuted brothers and sisters sometimes focus more than we do on the first half of the story, the intense suffering our Lord went through at the hands of Roman soldiers while hanging on the cross.
The Apostle Paul desired to know Christ, not only His resurrection power, but also the intimate fellowship of suffering for Him. From prison, facing possible execution, he wrote of his desire to the Philippian church to, *”know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead”* (3:10-11).
It is sometimes easy to focus only on experiencing Christ’s power through the Holy Spirit as a kind of guarantee we will never have to share in His suffering. But, the two are inseparable. We cannot truly know the power of the risen Savior without being willing to walk all the way with Him. Our persecuted family members are witnesses that without the suffering and pain of Good Friday, there could have been no resurrection power on Easter Sunday morning.”
I have heard the exposition of Christ’s sufferings on Good Friday many times. Even the Passion of the Christ movie could not accurately portray the volume of blood, gore, and carnage borne by our Saviour. As I am only a lowly undergraduate student, here I defer to the knowledge and experience of Dr. Alex F. Metherell, MD, PhD.