1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit.
No one wants to suffer, especially when you believe that you are innocent. Job had this struggle. The Bible says that Job was a blameless man, one who feared God and hated evil; and yet, poor Job suffered more than any of us can possible imagine.
Scripture teaches us that at first Job was able to rise above his suffering. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21) Even in the face of great loss and grief, Job was able to maintain a godly perspective. But then, when a friend suggested that perhaps his suffering was God’s punishment for some sin, Job began to sink into despair. At one point he said – Job 10:1 “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. 3 Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?
Job was not only losing his will to live, he was also beginning to lose his confidence in God. “How could God be just to punish him when he had committed no sin?” Unknowingly, Job was beginning to fall prey to Satan’s subtle scheme. In the very beginning of the story Satan told God – “Stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” (see Job 1:11)
Peter understood that his fellow Christians might be tempted to do the same. It was the great football coach Vince Lombardi who once said, ‘Fatigue makes cowards of us all.’ Weariness, pain, and sorrow can rob us of the joy of living and cause us to become bitter. Therefore Peter reminded his fellow believers who were suffering of the example of our Savior. Consider these three truths about the suffering of Jesus.
Jesus Suffered Unjustly
There was nothing in the life of Jesus that caused Him to deserve to suffer. There was not even one single sin that deserved to be punished. If anyone ever suffered unjustly, it was Jesus.
Jesus Suffered Purposefully
Though Jesus suffered unjustly, He did not suffer needlessly. There was a purpose for His suffering. The Bible says – “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus Suffered Victoriously
The Bible says that the body of Jesus was so abused that He was unrecognizable. (see Isaiah 52:14) Some believe this means that not only could you not tell who He was, you could not even tell whether or not He was human. Yet though He died a horrible death physically, He was victoriously alive spiritually. The Apostle Paul understood this truth and it gave him strength during his times of suffering. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor 4:4) Men might take away our physical life, but they can never take away our spiritual life. There is never a moment when a Christian will be more alive than the moment when they breathe their last breath.