As noted earlier, Crossway is allowing me to post some Tables from God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology.
This is the third of the five that will be posted here, and it seeks to provide background for statements like the one in Colossians 1:24,
“Now I rejoice in my suffering for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church . . .”
In what sense is Paul “filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”? Well, there are passages in the OT that indicate that the Messiah will suffer and that before his kingdom is realized his people will suffer, too. On the basis of this strand of OT prophecy, there are many texts in the NT that point toward afflictions for God’s people before they receive the kingdom. Acts 14:22, for instance: “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
This Table seeks to gather the texts in the Old and New Testaments that speak of the affliction and tribulation that the Messiah and his people will fulfill before kingdom come.
This is being posted on Thursday, April 21, 2011, and it will be removed at the end of the day Saturday, April 23, 2011. Here it is: “The Messianic Woes in the Old and New Testaments.” [Link Removed]
This table gives the relevant language from the passages it cites rather than simply the references. I think it would make for a healthy time of meditation as we approach the celebration of the resurrection this Easter Sunday. The statements in these passages will also explain to us the persecution that Christians are facing around the world and that may be heating up here in our culture.