Scripture: from verse 25
Yes, I [Paul] am completing in my own flesh what has been lacking of the Messiah’s afflictions, on behalf of his Body, the Messianic Community.
Observation: This doesn’t make any sense. I mean, it does – he’s saying that he is continuing Messiah’s sacrifice to further God’s goal of restoring harmony between humans and God. The problem is that that’s impossible.
Nothing was lacking in Yeshua’s afflictions. He finished it. He paid the debt for us, completely and in full.
But I guess, if we are joined with Messiah in doing His work, and joined with Him in His suffering in the form of whatever persecution or deprivation or sacrifice God calls us to, then we are helping complete what Messiah has already done. He did the work. We’re helping.
Perhaps it makes more sense if I remember that, from God’s point of view, we’re only children. If I comb my daughter’s hair, and then she combs her own hair, I did the work and she helped. Admittedly I usually need to give it a quick re-comb before inserting the barrette, but that’s okay. Because she needs to try doing it herself.
I don’t know how it works. I don’t know how we could be contributing anything meaningful to Yeshua’s work and sacrifice. But apparently we can. Because He lets us help.
Application: What you do has value. God has a plan and a calling and a purpose for everything He has you do, even if it seems meaningless and random.
Prayer: Yeshua, I don’t get this one. I don’t even know whether to be comforted or humbled or inspired to greater effort. But I know you have a plan for it. I know you have a plan for me. Please help me follow it. Thank you for helping me grow and letting me help. Amen.