Perfected by Suffering!
Scripture reading for December 14th: Hebrews 5-7
It is a wonderful comfort to know that we have a perfect Savior who has been tempted and tested in the same manner that we are. Jesus Christ was truly a human as well as God. His suffering was part of the process that God used to help us to become all we need to be through faith. Today’s readings help us to understand a little better what Jesus went through on our behalf.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of his reverent submission. Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what he suffered and , once made perfect, be became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:7-10)
Jesus prayed passionately because He faced trials and temptations that buffeted His soul. The last great wave of temptation was to save Himself from the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:36-44) According to Luke, Jesus’ sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground and an angel came and strengthened him. (Luke 22:42-44) While Jesus wrestled passionately in prayer, the disciples were sleeping and deserted him in the night watch. Jesus desired to have the cup of suffering removed from him, but reverently submitted to the Father’s will that He taste death for all sinners.
He was made perfect through suffering. His suffering brought Jesus to perfect obedience and humble submission to the Father’s will. He was then able to become the source of eternal salvation for all who would humbly look to Him in faith. Because of Jesus’ submission, God designated Jesus a high priest of the order of Melchizedek! Melchizedek had no recorded genealogy and appeared to live eternally. His priesthood was of a different order than Aaron’s and came before Aaron’s. It was based on the power of an endless life!
We can fully trust Jesus Christ as our high priest. He is a man who is now alive forever in God’s presence. God declared Him a high priest forever! He was tempted in every way like us, but was without sin. His blood is the perfect sacrifice for sin. We owe Him our reverent submission!