I was having a discussion with a friend the other day. Let’s call him “Chris.” Chris is a little younger than I am and is engaged to be married soon. He’s been diligent with his finances, doesn’t have any debt, and has saved up a decent amount of money for someone his age. However, there’s one problem that he’s wrestling with. His fiancé is $40,000 in debt. As you might expect, this hasn't gone over well with my friend. He’s put in a lot of work to get to the point where he is financially, and now he’s going to become one flesh with a woman who is going to wipe out his savings and then some. What is my friend to do?
This reminded me of a story. In the first century, shortly after Jesus ascended, the Apostles were arrested and beaten for preaching the Way. They were put to public shame and were commanded by the Sanhedrin to not speak in the name of Jesus anymore. This is how the Apostles felt about that shame:

Therefore they departed from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.

Acts 5:41
This speaks to the mindset the Apostles had about suffering for Jesus’ sake. They counted themselves worthy of being despised by the same leaders who crucified their Lord. They were blessed to have fellowship with Christ as partakers in His suffering. What an honor! Now, back to my friend Chris.
I was reminded of this story of the Apostles because their attitude is applicable to the way my friend should be viewing his predicament. Chris is just months away from marrying a woman that he loves. He is a short time away from becoming one with his bride. His bride has a debt that she can’t pay, and he has the finances to make a large dent in paying off that debt for her. Sounds a lot like Christ, doesn’t it? He, too, has a Bride who has a debt she can’t pay. A debt so vast that the Son of God had to become flesh and dwell among us to show us the Way. He demonstrated how to lay down our lives for our brides by laying down His life for His. He didn’t owe anything. Jesus was never indebted to anyone. Yet He paid it all.
My friend has an amazing opportunity, an insurmountable blessing, laying ahead of him. He has the opportunity to sacrifice himself, lay down his life, and pay his bride’s debt. He has an opportunity to imitate Christ and boldly yet humbly rejoice along with the Apostles, “I have been counted worthy to walk in the footsteps of my Savior!”
May we imitate Chris as he imitates Christ and rejoice that we are being counted worthy to do the same.

Kevin is a blogger with a B.A. in Biblical Studies and is passionate about all things Bible, church history, theology, and Koine Greek. When he’s not reading, writing, or working as a Quality Engineer for Ramsey Solutions, he’s spending time with his wife and four—soon to be five—kids in Spring Hill, Tennessee.