For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example,
so that you might follow in his steps. -1Peter 2:21 ESV
Interesting how Peter writes that the voluntary suffering of Jesus is an example for us. To be truthful, I am not all that much in favor of entering in to the suffering of another. I want loving my neighbor to be devoid of sacrifice. I want to embrace stoically loving from a distance. Yet the example of Jesus challenges those views and leaves me without excuse.
Perhaps voluntary suffering is the heart of what it means to live like Jesus? Perhaps it is the essence of what it means to deny ourselves and take up our cross? And perhaps it is the only way to truly follow the example of Jesus? Yet when I think of following the example of Jesus I am not inclined to embrace opportunities to enter into another's suffering.
I am weak Lord. My will power is weak. Help me to follow your example in my life.