Perfect Through Suffering
“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18
When Jesus was about to begin his public ministry, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. He was hungry, he was tired, he was alone and he knew full well what he was about to face in the future. The devil tried to manipulate Jesus, he tried to trick him into using his divinity to make this ordeal easier, and he tried to offer Jesus a shortcut that would have avoided the cross–preventing the devil from being defeated. But Jesus of course, tempted though he was, suffering though he did, resisted the devil and stood on the Word of God.
Consider Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, the night before he was crucified. Jesus was tempted. He was “sorrowful and troubled”. He prayed to God to take the cup away from him. He didn’t want to die. He didn’t want to go through this torment. The cup signified the work of the cross where the sins of the world were to be borne. The cup is the separation from the Father–the searing pain of that time when God looked away from his Son and Jesus accomplished it all for us.
Jesus understands our pain. He understands our suffering. He was perfected in his suffering because he remained faithful. God did not deliver Jesus from his suffering, rather He sustained him through it. He will do the same for us.
This is very good news for us all!