Written by Rev. George Vink
“Holy Week” or whatever we’ve labeled it, is a week in which we celebrate the culmination of Christ’s earth-bound work, finishing with the climax of a rock rolled away and a risen Jesus! If so, why do Paul’s words in Colossians 1:24 cause us to wonder and ask ourselves, “Was Christ’s work not complete, his task not satisfactorily done to accomplish our salvation?”
Let’s read them again. “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body—for the sake of his body, the church—what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.”(TEV)
What was lacking in the sufferings of Christ?
Was there some terror that he could or should have experienced to make it complete? What did Jesus not do that he should have done? What was lacking in His suffering? Our answering that question could lead to an increased appreciation for Paul’s love for the church, the people Christ came to save.
Christ’s suffering left nothing out, but it’s not finished unless it’s communicated to those who need to know Him. Doing that may include sacrifice and suffering as it did for Paul. Beaten, left for dead, chased out of town and more!
Today, we can share in the suffering of Christ, what’s lacking, when we’re willing to take the time to talk to our neighbor about why the Easter celebrations are so meaningful for us. We share in the suffering when we’re willing to suffer ridicule for holding fast to what we believe.
There is something “lacking in the sufferings of Christ,” as long as there are those who have not heard and believed that Jesus is Lord and that he died for them.
There is a “lacking in the sufferings of Christ,” when my grandchildren don’t hear me sharing my love for Jesus with them. There is a “lacking in the sufferings of Christ” when there are areas of my life that do not reflect His Lordship. There is……you complete it. The task is still unfinished!
Our Lord promised to be with us as we obey His commissioning us. Our doing so means we join Paul “for the sake of his body, the church.” Mary ran to tell Peter. Peter ran into an open grave. Thomas needed convincing. Barnabas demonstrated it. Paul first denied it but….