May 29: 24 Iyar
It was on this day in 1945 that Nazi Germany surrendered, unconditionally, to the Allies. With the defeat of one of the most evil regimes that has ever existed came the push to establish a Jewish nation in their ancient homeland. Out of the ashes of the Holocaust came forth a nation that the world had relegated to the pages of ancient history. In Israel’s rebirth we see a principle that runs throughout the Scripture: you can’t have a birth unless there’s travail; you can’t see the glory unless you’re willing to embrace the suffering.
Consider Joseph. This man had to endure being separated from his family and being sold into slavery. He was forced into exile by his own brothers and, then later, was further humiliated by being thrown into prison, falsely accused. Yet, all of his suffering was to position him that he might rise to the powerful office that he was designed to possess. Time and again we see that, there is no glory if there is no suffering. Had he not been sent into exile, and had he not been in the prison cell, then he could not have met the cup bearer. Had he not met the cup bearer, he could not have interpreted his dream. If he was not in position to interpret that man’s dream, then how could he have been summoned to appear before Pharaoh and interpret his dream? He had to suffer these things so that all Israel might be saved – therein is the glory.
We understand Joseph is a type of the Messiah and, so, we should not be surprised that Christ acknowledges this principle. In fact, the suffering of the Messiah was something that had to happen before He could enter into His glory. Speaking to the two men on the road to Emmaus He said:
“Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:26)
According to this verse, He went all the way back to the beginning of Scripture (i.e. Moses) and traced the principle about the suffering Messiah throughout all of the Bible to prove this had to happen before He could enter into His glory. And if the principle was true then, it must be true today. If we want to see the glory, then we have to be willing to embrace the suffering. Paul put it this way:
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:16-19)
For every beautiful child who comes into the world, there has to be a mother who is willing to endure the travail and suffering of labor – there is no glory if there is no suffering. We say this because of the belief that the Creator is birthing something in the world. Among His people as a whole and in His people individually, He is birthing something that is to greatly affect this world. Paul said that the creation is eagerly anticipating what the Creator is birthing – the revealing of the sons of God. The question for us today is, are we willing to endure the suffering He has called us to that we might be elevated to the position of glory, in the Messiah, that He’s destined us to? Each trial we have faced in times past has helped to prepare us for other trials. We must embrace the notion that we must endure suffering if we want to see the glory. Be encouraged in the LORD that the Messiah was able to endure the suffering of the cross because of the glory and the joy that was set before Him. That is the standard and example we must follow. So if you’re struggling today, look to glory that lies before you and set your face on the author and finisher of our faith.