Bearing Christ’s Reproach

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

“Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” “Let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.” Hebrews 11:24-26; 12:1-3; 13:13

“Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ… that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings.” Philippians 3:7-8,10

“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” 1 Peter 4:14-16

The more hostility we face and the more we endure reproach as Christians, the better we understand what Christ suffered for us, and how deeply He loves. For the joy set before Him- the full accomplishment of our salvation and return to glory- He endured caustic hostility and the agony of the cross, bearing and despising its shame, but carrying it through to its glorious end. Always His eyes were fixed, always His heart set on the goal, of winning our reconciliation and peace. (Isaiah 53:3-5)

How are we to bear the insults or vitriol of enemies, how to bear up under the weight of unjust accusation or distress? Our Lord knows every pelt and pang. He bore it and all its fallout on the cross, and we must entrust Him with ultimate justice. We accept that we are sharing in His sufferings as a privilege, because they reveal just a taste of what He suffered for us and therefore humble us, convict how we are complicit, and make us grateful for His mercies. We never return in kind. There are times to turn the cheek, and times to act with tough love, and God will direct with His wisdom as we cry to Him and seek His glory over saving face. (Psalm 89:50-51; Matthew 5:38-39; Romans 12:19-21; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 11:19-20; Ephesians 4:29-31; Titus 3:10-11)

Do we see in suffering Christ’s reproach a chance to die to self, to praise Him for His fathomless love, to trust Him for the way forward? What is the best way to bring glory to the name and reputation of Christ?

Lord, I want to gain You, to know You and Your resurrection power in every attack. May I bear gracefully and wisely Your reproach, so You can accomplish Your desired and glorious end.

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