Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 1 Peter 1:14 (NIV) Peter is not saying that you won’t have evil desires; he is saying, “Don’t conform to them.” Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the new Christian who was baptized. After he came...
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
What kind of heaven would it be if there were no cancer, but there was still human trafficking? What kind of hope would it be to have no death, but still to have sexual abuse? What joy would there be in a heaven that was divided by race?
In order to free the world from human trafficking, sexual abuse, and racism, you have to free the human heart from selfishness, lust, and pride. Suffering continues as long as sin remains. Therefore redeeming the world from suffering must include redeeming the world from sin.
Sin and suffering are wrapped up together in the Bible. They came into the world together, they exist in the world together, and God will take them out of the world together. Suffering will end when sin is defeated.
Christ came to redeem you from suffering and sin. And Isaiah tells us how Christ redeems you from your sins—by sacrificing himself as your substitute. Look at how Isaiah puts it (Isa. 53:5):
His piercing Your transgressions
His crushing Your iniquities
His chastising Your peace
His wounding Your healing
When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, he did more than enter our suffering as a friend. He not only suffered with us, but he also suffered for us.
What suffering do you see in this world? Give thanks that Christ has redeemed you from both suffering and sin by his sacrifice.