[Christ said,] “‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.” Hebrews 10:7

Christ’s sufferings are understood correctly when we do not simply regard the sufferings as such but recognize and grasp His heart and will to suffer. For if one regards His sufferings in isolation without recognizing His heart and will therein, one will be shocked by Christ’s sufferings rather than rejoice in them. But if one sees that Christ’s heart and will are in these sufferings, it produces real comfort, confidence, and pleasure in Christ.

The psalmist praises this will of God and Christ in suffering when he says, “In the roll of the scroll it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:7-8). The epistle to the Hebrews also refers to this when it says, “By that will we have been sanctified” (Hebrews 10:10). It does not say through the suffering and blood of Christ, which is pure enough, but through the will of God and of Christ, that they were both of one will to sanctify us through Christ’s blood.

This will to suffer He also manifests in the Gospel (Matthew 16:21-23), where He proclaims beforehand that He is going up to Jerusalem to suffer Himself to be crucified. It is as though He were saying, “Look into my heart to see that I am doing this willingly, without compulsion, and gladly, so that you may not be shocked or dismayed thereby when you see it come to pass and begin to think that I am doing it unwillingly, that I must do it, that I am forsaken, and that the Jews are doing it by their authority.”

SL 11:526 (3)
AE 76:350-51

PRAYER: Thanks be to You, loving Father, for sending us such a ready and willing Savior, whose love for us has been manifested in His readiness and willingness to suffer and die for us and in our stead. Mercy and love are all Your ways, and those of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.