The Text

Mark 9:2–13 (CSB)
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transfigured in front of them,

3 and his clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them.

4 Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—

6 because he did not know what to say, since they were terrified.

7 A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him!”

8 Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

10 They kept this word to themselves, questioning what “rising from the dead” meant.

11 Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

12 “Elijah does come first and restores all things,” he replied. “Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?

13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did whatever they pleased to him, just as it is written about him.”

The Devotion

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: Christ is a man of suffering and of sorrow

Isaiah 53:3-5 (CSB) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and we didn’t value him. 4 Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: he suffered so that we would be saved

Isaiah 53:6-11 (CSB) We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the LORD has punished him for the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 He was taken away because of oppression and judgment, and who considered his fate? For he was cut off from the land of the living; he was struck because of my people’s rebellion. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, but he was with a rich man at his death, because he had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully. 10 Yet the LORD was pleased to crush him severely. When you make him a guilt offering, he will see his seed, he will prolong his days, and by his hand, the LORD’s pleasure will be accomplished. 11 After his anguish, he will see light and be satisfied. By his knowledge, my righteous servant will justify many, and he will carry their iniquities.

1 Peter 3:17-20 (CSB) 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 in which he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people —were saved through water.

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: we will be like our Eldest Brother in every good way

Romans 8:16-19 (CSB) 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.

Hebrews 2:17-18 (CSB) Therefore, he had to be like his brothers and sisters in every way, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in matters pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

Romans 8:28-29 (CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: so that we would gain absolute and right perspective in this life

Philippians 3:7-11 (CSB) But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: this is how hope is produced

Romans 5:1-5 (CSB) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: now we get to comfort others in their afflictions

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (CSB) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort.

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: comfort others as God would comfort us

James 5:13-16 (CSB) Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.

Christ suffered so that we will endure suffering: because we are forever sealed by the God who Comforts us

John 14:16-18 (CSB) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

The Discussion

1. Did God promise an easy life?
2. Did God promise a life without suffering?
3. Did God promise a good life?
4. What did God promise his children?

The Prayer from the Psalms

My Comforter
I have suffered all the pain, loss, confusion, despair, and darkness.

You have been the only light and life in my heart.

Hold on to me for all of eternity.

Amen.