February 24

Read: 1 PETER 3:18-22

Our Lenten journey leads us inexorably to Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. These in turn are crowned with his ascension and finally Pentecost. Peter has spoken earlier in chapter 3 about Christian suffering. That has led him, in today’s text, to our Lord’s suffering for sin and from there through a dizzying array of subjects to his seat of power at the Father’s side.

We see in the gospels Jesus’s growing awareness of his calling to suffer, die, and rise again as though the script were becoming clearer and clearer. The writer of Hebrews says that “for the sake of the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, disregarding the shame” (12:2).

The purpose for the suffering in our lives is rarely so clear. The more we suffer the more we ask, “Why?” Yet Peter makes no attempt to explain it. He simply points to Jesus, whose suffering led him to glory. The answer to suffering is faith, which gives birth to joy.

Lord Jesus, in my pain I trust you. AMEN.

About the Author

Paul Shekleton / I have lived in Manchester for 34 years with my wife, Clara, whom I met in Spain in 1976. We joined Trinity Covenant Church shortly after moving into town and raised our three children here. We now have four grandchildren. We are retired; Clara was a phlebotomist, I a carpenter. I have served on church boards and committees and taught and facilitated classes and small groups all my adult life. We enjoy reading history and fiction in English, Spanish, and occasionally Catalan. Since retirement I have dabbled in writing short fiction.

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