Commentary for: Hebrews 2:10   

For it was fitting for him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

“through sufferings.” The “sufferings” that Jesus went through included his death, and Jesus was “made perfect,” that is, brought to full maturity and the planned goal of God both spiritually and mentally, by his suffering and his death. It is often taught, and we understand, that because Jesus lived a sinless life and suffered death for mankind, God highly exalted him and set him at His own right hand. Much less understood is the maturity that Jesus experienced because of his suffering. The Old Testament predicted over and over that Jesus would suffer. The very first prophecy about him, Genesis 3:15, stated that his heel would be “bruised,” and as anyone who has ever had a bone bruise on their heel knows, it is very painful. Psalm 22 graphically portrays some of the suffering of the Messiah. In fact, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and other passages of the OT portray both the physical and the mental suffering of our Lord Jesus.

We are familiar with some of the physical suffering Jesus went through, specifically the beatings before his death. Sadly, however, even much of that has been obscured by tradition. The traditional teaching is that Jesus was arrested Thursday night before Good Friday, was crucified Friday morning, and was dead by late Friday afternoon. Jesus actual sufferings were much more horrible than that.

If we look at the chronology in the Bible and lay it out day by day, we can see that Jesus was arrested after the Last Supper, 2 days before his death. He was first taken before Annas (John 18:13), then to Caiaphas (John 18:24), and in both places he was beaten and assaulted. Then the next morning he was tried before the Sanhedrin in a kangaroo court (Luke 22:66ff). The Sanhedrin then took him to Pilate (Luke 23:1), who sent him to Herod (Luke 23:7). Herod sent him back to Pilate (Luke 23:11; by then it was noon; the “sixth hour;” John 19:14). Pilate tried to release him, but gave in to the crowd who wanted Jesus crucified. So Pilate handed Jesus over to his guard, who tortured him all night by doing things like placing a crown of thorns on his head and hitting it with a stick (this is now the second night in a row he had been up all night being beaten). The guards took Jesus and crucified him at 9AM the next morning (the “third hour;” Mark 15:25; he would have been awake for something like 50 hours at this point). After hanging on the cross for six hours, Jesus died. No one can deny that the physical sufferings of Jesus were horrific.

We should also keep in mind that Jesus suffered mentally as well as physically. He had sorrow, grief, and plenty of opportunities for “stress.” Isaiah 53:3 (ESV) calls him a “man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Although the Bible does not give us any details, it seems clear that his father Joseph died before he started his ministry (see commentary on John 19:27). His mother and family misunderstood him, and at different points did not believe him (John 7:5), and even thought he had gone insane (Mark 3:21). Jesus was constantly grieved by the hardness of people’s hearts. He had disciples leave him (John 6:66), and intimate friends desert and betray him. No wonder the Bible says that he was “tempted in every way just as we are” (Heb. 4:15), and that he “learned obedience by the things that he suffered” (Heb. 5:8).

There are many sources of suffering. They are all rooted in the Devil, but by now there are many secondary sources of suffering. Suffering comes from the Devil, his demons, and people who are influenced by the demonic. It also comes from the fallen nature of the world, and from things such as our own ignorance, pride and stubbornness. It can also come from our standing against evil and suffering for it. As much as we would like to eliminate suffering, while we are on this earth it helps to recognize that when it comes to suffering, we can “turn a lemon into lemonade.” We can use our suffering to God’s advantage; it can have some benefits. In Jesus’ case, as Scripture says, it helped bring him to full maturity, and he learned obedience from it. Some of the potential benefits of suffering are:

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Commentary for: Hebrews 2:10