Jesus Christ shows us that suffering is a pathway, not a destination. Through suffering we experience a purification – whereby we grow and discover new insights through the process of challenge, pain, and difficulty. God permits suffering that we might be changed…for the good. For remember: the suffering of Good Friday will be transformed into the joy of Easter Day.
We are thus consoled and challenged by these words. Consoled, in that we take hope that the triumph of Christ on the Cross will one day be our triumph. He understands our suffering (he’s already been through his own) and we can cling to his mercy and grace.
Challenged, in that we are invited to drink from the cup of suffering. Like Christ, we pray that the cup will pass by, but like Christ we will accept what God sets before us – opening our hearts to God and allow this process to transform us.