“Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a crop. 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
Now My soul is troubled. What I should I say-Father save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father glorify Your Name!” The a voice came from heaven.” “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!’
What happened in this passage? Jesus tells us the way that leads to glory and tells us to follow Him.
What is the way?
“Now I rejoice in my suffering for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ’s for His body that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24)
Simply put, the way to glory is suffering. How did I come to that conclusion and why is that the way?
Before Jesus spoke about the wheat of grain falling into the ground and dying, He said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. He then tells about the grain of wheat needing to die before it can produce a harvest. Next He talks to us and says if we love our life we will lose it, but if we hate it we will keep it. Lastly, He speaks about His soul being troubled because of what He is about to suffer and then acknowledges that He need not ask to be saved from the suffering because it is why He has come.
He tells us to follow Him. Colossians 1:24 shows that the afflictions of Christ are being filled up by believers. How? By us following Him in suffering.
What does that equate to?
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
What is the “this” we are called to?
“For it brings favor if, mindful of God’s will, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if you sin and are punished, and you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.” ( 1 Peter 2:19, 20)
Notice the outcome of doing the right thing in response to being wronged:
“...heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17, 18)
We reign with Christ. We overcome evil by doing good. We participate in God’s redemptive act of bringing all things in submission to His Son.
Hence the command to count it joy when we suffer (James 1:24) because when we endure suffering we are inheriting glory. We are imitating our Heavenly Father and we show that good is greater than evil.
It is beneficial for us as believers to arm ourselves with the mind to suffer rather than seeking to avoid it. (1 Peter 4:1)