The suffering of the faithful
Remove this cup from me.
Yet not what I want, but what you want. Mark 14:36
Read Jeremiah 11:18—20
Tonight I take for my meditation the plight of Jeremiah, misunderstood in the face of his own people. He saw the faithlessness of the times in which he lived. He called people back to a renewed covenant faithfulness to God. In face of the threat of the great Babylonian power, he called for submission to the judging hand of God. So he was written off as an enemy sympathiser, a collaborator, disloyal, false, a betrayer of his own people. There is an abiding suspicion and distrust, certainly unpopularity, that can await anyone who, in deep, deep love, must take a public stand against public evil in which public opinion colludes. Jeremiah needed to be steeled by God for this. He would suffer. He actually hears from God as he obeys, as he takes his stand. He needs that. Yet he is gentle as a lamb. He is my brother. Let me learn from him. Let me learn. Nor can I miss noticing his kinship with my Saviour, the Lamb of God, the great prophet who could not be killed away from Jerusalem.
Father, in Jeremiah I see Jesus prefigured. I see the issues. I see the opposition that true faithfulness can bring about. I see all around the rejection of Godliness. I see the courage of the faithful. I see that you speak into the life of the faithful one. You are with the faithful. I see the suffering that must come. I see what Jesus took into himself when he came to Jerusalem and faced the collective opposition: the Jewish council, the crowd, the governor Pilate. Even the loss of his disciples’ loyalty. I hear him say, ‘Father, forgive them. Forgive them.’ The Lamb of God said this. Grant me this faithfulness.
 Jeremiah 1:18-19