By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. Genesis 19:23-25
Everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah suffered that day: the good and the bad, the young and the old, the righteous and the wretched. We could smugly cross our arms and say, “Well, it was pretty bad. We’ve never done anything like that.” The Bible quickly reminds us that “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10; Ecclesiastes 7:20).
To suffer for your own sins is bad. To suffer for the sins of another is far worse. We don’t deserve it. We didn’t ask for it. For some of us, someone sinned against us by taking from us or harming us. For others, we suffer the consequences of something that happened to someone close to us. Sometimes suffering comes in the form of receiving a stronger reaction from someone than what we deserve. The reaction might be coming from something that happen in the past, but it’s directed at us.
Suffering because of others is never pleasant, but it does make us more like Jesus. Jesus suffered for our sins. Jesus suffered for the sins of those who sinned against you. And, He suffered for everyone else’s sins too. “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
Now, no one is going to jump up from reading this and say, “Woohoo, I get to suffer because of someone else today and be more like Jesus.” But, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus has been there. He understands. He is with us.
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