The glorified Jesus, brighter than the sun, appeared to Saul on the Damascus road, saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” How is it that this Master of the universe is being persecuted? Saul at that time was having believers of Jesus rounded up and imprisoned. The believers were suffering as a result of believing Jesus. But when Jesus’ believers suffer, Jesus also suffers, because he and his believers are one spirit.
But because they are one spirit, Jesus also suffers when his believers sin, or are fleshy, or untransformed, or don’t believe him, or fight with one another, or love money more than him, or follow Satan rather than him.
Jesus and his believers are a celestial spiritual organism, it having a body and a head. The Christ is now a body. That same Saul later became Paul, who also experienced sufferings of the Christ, he being in Christ, and Christ living in him. The sufferings Paul experienced were a result of being used by God to grow this spiritual organism called Christ’s body, which is actually an embryo stage of what is coming to the entire universe.
What’s it like to be involved in the growing of this embryo? What did Paul write to the Colossians about a guy named Epaphras? “Epaphras is greeting you, the one out of you, he being a slave of Christ Jesus, always contending over you in the prayers, that you may be stood consummate (perfect, mature) in every will effect of God. For I am testifying that he is having much misery over you, and the ones in Laodicea and Hieropolis.”
Wow! Jesus is having much misery, not only from an unbelieving world, but over his own believers! God have mercy! Is this how his enemies are being put under his feet? Jesus overcame the world, Satan, and death. How did he do it? By dying on a pole, in shame and misery.
From 2 Corinthians 4: “We, the ones living, are ever being given over into death, because of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our dying flesh. So, the death is operating in us, yet the life, in you.”