"For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering" (Hebrews 2:10).
This verse sums up the whole earthly life of Jesus. He was made "perfect through suffering.” But wasn’t Jesus perfect when he was born in the manger? Didn’t he live a sinless life? Wasn’t his death the death of an innocent man? Yes. He was morally perfect. That is one kind of perfection.
But there is another kind of perfection or completion. It comes only by experience. Jesus entered fully into the sufferings of this world and emerged victorious over them. He was made complete in his experience on the earth by the things he suffered. That is why he is called the "founder" of our salvation. He came and suffered on this sin-cursed planet so that by virtue of his sinless life and death, he might blaze the trail for us back to God.
But the trail leading to the cross is marked with suffering, with tears, with rejection. When you follow Jesus, the road to glory goes by way of the cross.
This explains so much that happens to us. What is God doing in your life and in mine? He is putting us through the Curriculum of Grace in the School of Suffering. School starts the moment we trust Christ and ends the day we die. We pass the test and win our degree by keeping our eyes on Jesus. He’s the valedictorian of the class. He never failed a test. He blazed the trail through the School of Suffering so that we could follow in his path.
There is glory at the end of the Christian life, but it only comes by way of suffering. Keep your eyes on Jesus who blazed the trail for us.
Our Father, may we never forget that every trial has a divine purpose. Help us to keep looking to Jesus as he leads us on to glory. Amen.