“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:10
I’ve really been enjoying reading the book of Hebrews lately! This verse stuck out to me today as I thought about how Jesus was willing (even considered it a joy) to sacrifice himself in order to be able to welcome us into God’s family. He generously shares his inheritance with humans, inviting us into the incredible riches and blessings of God the father and bringing us to glory.
What’s more, this verse states that Jesus, the author of our salvation, was made perfect through suffering. It occurred to me that I believe I can be made perfect (or at least made more wise, loving, faithful, etc.) by just reading the Bible, praying, and reminding myself of the Gospel throughout the day. Those things are good and valuable and do affect our lives, growing us in knowledge and working in our hearts to convince us of the truth and show us how live it out, but this verse says Jesus was made perfect through suffering. Why should my path to perfection not also be suffering? And so I want to rejoice in suffering that I face, considering the trials I face pure joy (James 1:2). I want “the fellowship of sharing in his [Christ’s] sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11). Sharing in Christ’s resurrection means sharing in his life, his joy, and his victory, not to mention his perfection!
Lest you think I’ve gone crazy, I realize that this is a life-long journey. I do not expect to be made perfect in my lifetime, partly because the apostle Paul didn’t either. That’s why the verses directly following Philippians 3:10-11, state, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize [perfection] for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
And this perfection is not for my own glory, but for that of Christ, who is the author of my salvation and the perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Hebrews 3 describes how the builder of the house is worthy of greater honor than the house, and we who are faithful (and the Church, the Body of Christ, as a whole) are the house in this analogy. Our perfection brings honor to our builder, our author, our perfecter.
So, bring on the sufferings.