In reflecting upon pastoral ministry it has occurred to me that there is a very unique way in which pastors have the unique calling to model Christ.
Oftentimes pastors, (and Christians in general) are thrust into the middle of very messy situations that are shot through with sin. People don't want to address their sin, confess it, and apply the Gospel, thus those pastors who have spiritual oversight over them after forced to bear those burdens.
Pastors plead with people to repent. If they don't, the weight of sadness and anger can be very real. Pastors can often objectively see the truth of the situation through the lens of the Word, but those caught in sin can't see through to the truth as well, so the pastor is left wondering what it will take for this people to see the truth in the Bible.
As times, for the pastor, this can lead to a sense of sinful frustration with thoughts of "Why do I have to bear this burden? Why won't these people simply do what is right in this situation and move on in the strength of the Gospel? Their sin has heavy consequences for me! I am having sleepless nights over this! I didn't ask for this situation to be placed on my doorstep!"
I am so glad that Jesus did not embrace these sinful attitudes. Can you imagine if from the cross Jesus said, "Why can't these people just do what is right? Their sin has heavy consequences for me! I am growing weary of these sinners and all the implications that their sin has left at my doorstep!"
What as great savior we have and what a distinct privilege we have to model him in bearing the piercing burdens of our people. May we be thankful for pastors who do this well and may we pray for them as they fight for an attitude that embraces the picture of Jesus who gladly laid down his life while bearing unthinkable burdens for the sake of love.