Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in hibenefits_of_suffering1-320x280s glory.
“Christ suffered so that I wouldn’t have to.”  This statement is one of the biggest fallacies in Christianity.  There is nothing written in the New Testament that supports such a notion.  Conversely, we find numerous passages that indeed do show us that suffering is something that is expected of us as children of God.  In truth, Christ suffered first so that we may learn how to suffer through His example.  His death, burial and resurrection were prophetic examples of what we are to do: we are to put to death our old man, bury it, and walk in the newness of the Spirit of God.  We no longer belong to ourselves; indeed, we are now owned by a new landlord, which is Christ.  The land that Christ owns is our bodies.  Our bodies are no longer to yield to our fleshly desires; rather, we are to yield to our Lord Jesus Christ, who instructs us through His words in the New Testament, as well as the Holy Spirit. Is this a simple process?  Quite frankly, no.  This is why Christ said that unless a man takes up his own cross, that man cannot be His disciple.  In other words, in order to become a disciple of Christ, we must be willing to deny ourselves.  How do we learn to deny ourselves?  Through suffering.  In truth, it is that willingness to suffer that proves we are worthy of our citizenship in the kingdom of God:
2 Thess. 1:Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.  All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
As you meditate on this season in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, remember that He did not merely die for you, but rather He taught you by example how you ought to lay your life down and be raised up as a new person in Christ Jesus.