“We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies, so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.”
2 Corinthians 4:10
Simple words stick out and catch my attention like a billboard waiting to be noticed. One simple word can change your perspective if you allow your attention to be caught. In scripture, it is words like nevertheless, therefore and suddenly that cause me to pause and ponder the words wrapped around that one word or phrase. It happened yesterday as I studied 2 Corinthians 4.
It was the “so that” in our key verse that gripped my attention.
“We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies, so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.” 2 Corinthians 4:10
It caused me to ask, “So that what?” I had to pause with the string of words that came before the two powerful words. Let’s linger and ponder the surrounding verses.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
What a powerful reminder that it is this glorious treasure of Jesus Christ that we carry within these frail earthen vessels. This one thought brings everything into correct perspective. The focus is not me, the clay pot, but Jesus, the light, the power, and the treasure that is within. Paul draws our attention to this before he presents the next string of words. I actually see them as two columns, not a line of words. When you combine multiple translations, it looks like this:
Between the two columns stands one important word – BUT.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Paul does not deny reality and try to make it sound better than it really is. He is always clear that suffering is a part of this Christian life. But there is another part of the reality and it is the power of God provided in Christ Jesus. The truth side is held up by the promise of God Himself.
And then we come to the wonderful “SO THAT” verse.
10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Don’t miss the message in all of the words. Paul teaches us that there is purpose in all of this. There is purpose in the suffering, in the pain, in the pressing, in the persecution, in the shock, in the uncomfortable, in the crushing, Jesus is revealed in and through our vessels, our clay, and our humanity.
The resurrection life of Jesus is being revealed through us.
It brings to mind Gideon’s little army (Judges 7) that was instructed to carry light inside their little clay torches. When the order was given, they were to smash the clay vessels and the light would burst forth. The light of that little army startled the enemy army and sent them running and the battle was won.
So here at the end of a lot of words, may I simply encourage you that there is purpose in all of your pain. According to scripture, your pain is preparing, producing and achieving for you an everlasting weight of Glory. In this we can all rejoice so that Jesus will be revealed.
“For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of Glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!}
2 Cor. 4:17 Amp.