As we move to Easter the Church starts to focus upon the suffering of Jesus Christ. Suffering is one of, if not the greatest, problems people face.
Christians suffer as much as non-Christians, and of course many non-Christians use suffering to justify rejection of God or at least rejection of a good God. How often have you heard the question that begins with “Why does God allow?”
There was once a German minister who was killed by being hanged on direct orders from Adolf Hitler. He had been involved in trying to assassinate Hitler.
He had many opportunities to escape and he never took it.
We might well ask why?
He said suffering was not rejection by God, but the rejection of God would lead to suffering one day.
He asked a question. What good is it to live a long life and never do anything with it that would last?
He was killed before he saw 40, but in that time he prepared a people to resist an evil regime.
He saved many who would have been sent to camps and he did all this because of his Christian Faith.
His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer and what he did for God will not just be remembered for 100 years but for all eternity.
He lived well. His life made a difference.
The reality is that God usually achieves far more through our trials and tears than he does through our smiles and laughs.
It seems in the darker moments of life we have a clarity that we lack when all is well.
The wonderful promise of Easter is that God achieved the ultimate victory through his Son in these moments in his life and death for his followers would now lead to life.