Today is the day that Christians like me celebrate Good Friday. It is the day we set aside to remember Jesus’ death on the cross specifically. We honor the day Jesus bled and died for our sins. We believe his body was broken and his blood shed so that we could have the debt paid for all our mistakes, failures, and trespasses.
The book of Hebrews underlines, along with Romans, that the work of Jesus is complete. He has done everything we needed for our salvation. Yet the Apostle Paul makes a remarkable statement in his letter to the Church in Colossae.
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24 – NIV 2011)
Paul says he is filling up in his flesh what is LACKING regarding Jesus’ suffering. What does that mean? I thought the cross was enough.
It was enough to secure our salvation, but it did not take the message of his saving work into all the world. The great Apostle recognized that people needed to be sent out to share their faith; as they did, some would suffer. The work of Good Friday is not complete until people have the chance to hear the message of Jesus.
Recently I heard a preacher talk about traveling to India on a mission trip. He stopped to speak to a group of village pastors about standing firm in their faith. One of the local leaders asked this preacher a simple question that left him speechless. He inquired, “Are there any scars on your body for Jesus?”
Today I praise God that Jesus was scarred, but I also pray that I will fill up in my body was that lacking in Christ’s affliction.