Wednesday(1.19), Perfected Through Sufferings
 Read Hebrews 2:10, 17, 18 and Hebrews 5:8, 9. What was the function of suffering in Jesus′ life?


 The apostle says that God made Jesus “perfect through sufferings.” This expression is surprising. The author has said that Jesus is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3, ESV) and that He is sinless, spotless, undefiled, and holy (Heb. 4:15, Heb. 7:26-28, Heb. 9:14, Heb. 10:5-10). Jesus did not have to overcome any kind of moral or ethical imperfection. He was perfect both morally and ethically.


 Hebrews does say, however, that Jesus underwent a process of “perfecting” that provided Him with the means to save us. Jesus was perfected in the sense that He was equipped to be our Savior.

 1. Jesus was “perfected” through sufferings in order to become the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10). Jesus had to die on the cross as a sacrifice so that the Father could have the legal means to save us. Jesus was the perfect sacrificial offering, the only one. As God, Jesus could judge us; but, because of His sacrifice, Jesus can also save us.


 2. Jesus learned obedience through sufferings (Heb. 5:8). Obedience was necessary for two things. First, obedience made His sacrifice acceptable (Heb. 9:14, Heb. 10:5-10). Second, His sufferings enabled Him to become our example (Heb. 5:9). Jesus “learned” obedience because He never experienced it before. As God, whom would He have to obey? As the eternal Son, and one with God, He was obeyed as the ruler of the universe. Therefore, Jesus did not progress from disobedience to obedience, but from sovereignty and dominion to submission and obedience. The exalted Son of God became the obedient Son of Man.


 3. Suffering temptation and being victorious enabled Jesus to be a merciful and faithful High Priest (Heb. 2:17, 18). Sufferings did not make Jesus more merciful. To the contrary, it was because of Jesus′ mercy that He volunteered to die on the cross to save us to begin with (Heb. 10:5-10; compare with Rom. 5:7, 8). Yet, it was through sufferings that the reality of Jesus′ brotherly love was truly expressed and revealed.

 If the sinless Jesus suffered, we, as sinners, surely will suffer, as well. How can we learn to endure the tragedies of life while at the same time drawing hope and assurance from the Lord, who has revealed His love to us in so many powerful ways?