There is a sense in man that begets compassion, the sense of fear, the fear of pain in particular. When one hears of someone who has experienced or is experiencing deep pain, compassion for that person wells up, and thoughts of how badly that person is suffering or has suffered, but more especially how terrible it would be to personally experience that same pain. At this point the thought becomes the fear of a similar fate for one’s self. Carrying the thought a bit further, if the one who suffers is doing so for some cause and not due to an accident or disease, that person becomes a hero in the observers’ eyes, a martyr if you will, allowed by the observer’s fear of self-suffering and the amazement of the sufferer’s selflessness.
There are those who bring this fear-bred compassion and idea of martyrdom into their knowledge of the passion of our Lord. One can easily begin to believe that the compassion felt in an imagined attachment to Christ because of His suffering that there is a oneness with Him based upon this compassion for Him. But is this really being at one with Him?
Remember in the Gospel of John how Jesus prayed that we might be one with Him? “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:20-23 AV) Keeping this text in mind, let’s consider the thought in the mind of the one who sees Jesus with compassion for His suffering, a martyr for His cause, and because of this compassion believing themselves to be one with Him fulfilling the prayer of our Lord in the passage above. This person moved by the fear of pain and compassion for the sufferer has come to believe him/herself to be saved and on their way to eternal bliss.
In reality, our deceived ones are on the road to Hell if this is the basis of their “salvation”. This belief holds no hope for the remission of sin nor the forgiveness of sins. The suffering that Christ bore was the wrath of God’s righteous judgment against sin, our sin which Christ took for His redeemed to His cross and then into the depths of the earth to Hell where they are yet today waiting for the final casting of Hell into the Lake burning with fire and brimstone.
There can be no salvation based upon compassion. Salvation is based upon our entering into His suffering, not being sorrowful for His pain. Fear does not allow for this, only faith to be willing to suffer and die with Him will be our source of life. There is no life in fear, only in faith. This truth applies in all areas of activity.
If we cannot see Him dying for our sin, we are not part with Him. Our sorrow must be turned to thanksgiving and joy, knowing that only He could pay for our sin, for when He was resurrected there was no sin remaining upon Him, He being sinless from the beginning. If He returned with any sin at all, He would have failed. We know He succeeded because He ascended to the Father who previously when He bore our sins rejected Him. So, for the redeemed and all who shall be redeemed, all sin is gone and we are at one with Him, pure and sinless, fully privileged to stand before the throne of God, pure and perfect in the Father’s eyes.
If you are depending upon your sorrow for Christ, upon your compassion for His suffering as the reason for your being one with Him, please know that though this is a noble thought, that is all it is. Salvation requires fully casting your life upon Him and His cross, dying to your every wish and desire, accepting only what He provides, even suffering without fear in body, mind and soul, not because of your sin, but because of your oneness with Him and His cross. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 AV) Fear will not allow death but faith will. Do you have faith? Be sorrowful for your sin, repenting of the thought of the filth of it and by faith in Jesus who died for your sin, accept His loving offer to take and remove your sin, and then go and live the new life He will give you, receiving His continual love, faith and power, go loving others for Him and His glory, and tell the good news of redemption to others who have not yet heard. This is the greatest love that we can show both to man and God, to obey Him who saved us who said, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:18-19 AV)
WTLMinistry http://www.wtlministry.org 9/30/02