Spectacle Of Suffering

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While ringing in the New Year, on the eve of Dec. 31, what was spectacular?

Was it the countdown of the lights, fireworks, clinging of glasses toasting in 2013?

Was it the shouts in a room packed with people saying Happy New Year?

Often times, well wishes of Happy New Year and blessings of this New Year are exchanged between family, friends and strangers.

My wish for 2013 New Year? To be spectacular!

Webster’s dictionary describes spectacular and the root forms as something exhibited to view as unusual, notable or entertaining; especially an eye-catching or dramatic public display. An elaborate, visually exciting show or event such as the multimedia spectacles that have become established parts of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics.

What comes to my mind are the multiple Cirque de Soleil shows my husband and I have seen. What a spectacle! Not your usually circus show, but an unforgettable experience. One year we were seated near the slim hidden staircase observing every intricate detail of how they actually perform on stage. We could see from the near stage in front of us to each beam at the very top, transferring the dancers and acrobats in a 3-D type format. These same seats were so very close and situated near the right side of the curtain, valances and drapes. So in addition to seeing everything from the high places on top, we also saw the entering and exiting of each performer with their costumes and props. All this was beyond what the average audience would see on stage, sitting in the mid section seats. Webster’s definition definitely applies here.

Events that are spectacular stay in your mind. These events are not easily forgotten and spring up daily.

Paul (the Apostle of Christ Jesus) speaks of a whole new definition of spectacle. Not only does he speak of it, but demonstrates it in fullness. When writing to the church of Corinth, Paul clarifies, corrects and warns against a severe err. Some people had swayed from the solid teachings of Christ to a false divisive and puffed up way ... very far from Christ and the purpose of His crucifix.

In Paul’s quest of correction and as their earthy father of their faith in Christ, he lovingly defends the truth, saying, “For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.” I Corinthians 4

This also reminds me of the suffering of those in Hebrew 11: 38, which says, “... of whom the world was not worthy ...”

He proceeds to differentiate between the fallacies of lifting up men by building up earthly fame and then compares it with the ones that suffer righteously by submitting to the true role of a servant. In the first group he characterizes the mindset as being puffed up, prideful, full of earthly wisdom and void of any type of growth spiritually.

In the second group, he describes those embracing a humbled life of a servant. “When reviled they bless and when being persecuted, they endure. Being defamed, they retreat.” Far from a life of earthy fame and glory. But as it is written, “The servant is not above the Master.”

This is the spectacle to which Paul refers. It is the spectacle of suffering righteously for Christ. It is displayed not only to men, but also to angels. It is on display for all to see as evidence, proof, and solicitation of whom he is in Christ and that he is declaring the truth of Christ. All see the faithfulness of Paul’s sincere service to God and pleading with them to come back, Paul perseveres to convince them of the sound, holy teaching of Christ and Him crucified and not yielding to the idolatry of lifting men with fame and bowing down to them with false pretense being void of truth in multiple counts.

There is no mistake about it — there is one Christ. There is one crucifixion.

There is one event solidifying the long awaited promise of man being reconciled once again to God ... that leads to salvation and life eternally.

A human cannot and never will fulfill that promise. Only One, born of a virgin birth was ordained as the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is higher than all mankind, holier than mankind because of His very nature.

He does not stand in a row amongst many teachers throughout history and religions.

He stands alone, He stands higher, He stands holy and He stands humble ... humble enough to offer equity at the cross to all who believe and follow Christ.

This is the spectacle that Christ displayed. This is the spectacle that Paul displayed.

May this be the spectacle I display. And I pray that you display the same spectacle of Christ also as a believer and follower of Him.

© Copyright 2013 Simone Lake.

All Rights Reserved.

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