In Exodus, God is reminding the Israelites that His relationship with them has been established from the days of Abraham. He reinforces His faithfulness to them and underscores His name. This reinforcement comes in the form of the 10 Commandments.
In Matthew, Jesus tells the Jewish church leaders that they will reject Him as He tells the story of the land tenants killing the slaves and even the son of the landowner. The horrific core of the parable is that through it we see that we are just like the Pharisees when they exclaim that the landowner should kill the tenants because they have murdered his son. The Pharisees see only retribution and hatred rather than mercy and grace towards the tenants.
As Paul writes the letter to the Philippians, Paul continues to praise God despite his torture in jail. Is this easy? Of course not! How he finds joy is that he aligns his own suffering with that of Jesus. Jesus did NOTHING WRONG! But He was rejected and suffered death.
Paul has been a trailblazer in his ministry and faith. Who have been our traiblazers? Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and so many others laying the groundwork for Black Lives Matter. Gloria Steinem, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and so many others laying the groundwork for Women’s Equality. Ronald Reagan, Condoleeza Rice, and so many others laying the groundwork for America’s security.
As we suffer or feel pain, instead of focusing on the suffering, let us turn our attention back to Jesus and WHY He suffered for us. And, as we look to Him, may we remember that perhaps what we feel isn’t about us at all. Rather, perhaps our pain will a marker for those around us and for those who come after us.