This was the path Jesus chose to do the will of His Father. It became the path for all who would follow Him. The passion of the Christian is fueled by the passion of the Christ.
The disciple will become very familiar with this path, for death, burial and resurrection will form a pattern which repeats itself in a variety of ways all throughout life. The pattern has at least three basic expressions:
VOLUNTARY CALLING TO SELF-SACRIFICE — To the degree the disciple loses his life, he gains Christ’s life. And as he trains himself for the purpose of godliness, putting lusts of the flesh to death, he aligns himself to experience the overcoming power of resurrection.
NECESSARY ROAD TO RECOVERY FROM SIN — At other times, the path leads through failure due to self-inflicted “death” resulting from sin. Through confession and repentance, the pattern emerges in cleansing and freedom
REQUIRED RESPONSE TO SUFFERING — Then, we find ourselves on the path due to suffering that comes upon us. Pain and loss cause a death to self-reliance. In a kind of burial, we experience loss and grief. But surrender to God’s purposes results in conformity to Christ and greater dependence on Him.
Why is it important that the disciple discover this pattern?
1. The death-burial-resurrection pattern gives understanding of often-confusing events which otherwise seem to have no purpose.
2. Understanding leads to hope, for we realize that there is a purpose and a way forward.
3. We do not feel alone in the struggle, for we know that Christ walked this path before us, and that the Father is glorified as we follow this pattern of discipleship.
4. We see value in the process, for by faith we grow in Christ-likeness and attain to His passion.
5. We are honored to be able to share the experience of Christ, realizing this is the privilege of only those disciples who choose the path of obedience.
Throughout our lives, after countless variations of this pattern, we see the beauty of Christ becoming beautiful in us. I have written previously, likening this to “gospel fractals.”