Undoubtedly, the suffering and death of Christ was and is critical to the plans of God. As Christians, we are adept in applying the sacrificial death to our initial redemptive experience. It is true, there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood!
Through Jesus’ death, God was appeased. He was, indeed, satisfied to the point where the sins committed against Him could be forgiven.
For as through the one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, (Jesus) many will be made righteous. (Romans 5)
We rejoice that this is true! However, the depth and richness of Father’s plan goes far beyond just the forgiveness of sins. Jesus did not die just so that we could live with Him forever in heaven one day!
The submission of the Son to a death that he did not deserve unleashed a massive strategy which God held in eternity. Now, satisfied, God could begin to release the fullness of His plan. What is more, because He had a true Man in the earth, the plan had the capacity to now, spring forth from eternity and invade time. It could come from Heaven into the earth and have effect against the principalities and powers that withstood its fulfillment.
Apostle Paul stated,
.. it is indeed not a wisdom of this present age or of this world nor of the leaders and rulers of this age, who are being brought to nothing and are doomed to pass away.
But rather what we are setting forth is a wisdom of God once hidden [from the human understanding] and now revealed to us by God—[that wisdom] which God devised and decreed before the ages for our glorification [to lift us into the glory of His presence].
None of the rulers of this age or world perceived and recognized and understood this, for if they had, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2)
While the death of Christ on the cross is indispensable to Father’s plan, it is only a step (albeit a major one) in God revealing His ultimate intentions. In eternity the plan was agreed upon in the Godhead. (Ephesians 1:4-5) The Lamb would be slain before the foundation of the world! All of the steps of Him revealing His plan are connected and of equal importance. For instance, there could have been no death without incarnation. Without the resurrection, Paul tells us that his death would have been in vain. You see what I am saying. The Plan is connected; the different phases are all part of the whole.
So, in this post, I want to go a bit deeper in the suffering of Jesus. I do not want to focus on the specifics of each horrifying detail regarding the torture of the crucifixion. You can find plenty of articles to read on that angle of the his suffering.
I want to look at the suffering of the Son in a general way through one passage of scripture. Here it is:
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10, NASB)
Through this verse there are three things which connect through the suffering of Jesus.
1. The Person – “for it was fitting for Him”. The Him here, is the Father. The next phrase, “for whom are all things and through whom are all things…” clearly identifies the subject of this thought.
2. The Intention – “in bringing many sons to glory,” reveals the Father’s intention.
3. The Means/Method – The Father would bring His intention to pass according to the Peace Plan which was agreed upon in eternity. The suffering that the Son experienced would make him perfectly capable of bringing many mature sons to Father’s thoughts regarding them.
The sufferings of Jesus opened the way into Sonship for any/all who would receive his finished, completed work on the cross. The first step in that process is obviously receiving forgiveness of sins.
But notice the very next verse in Hebrews 2,
For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren
He who sanctifies is Christ. Those who are sanctified are those who receive him as the perfected Captain of their Salvation. But the thing I want to draw attention to is that both Jesus and those who receive him are out of the same source! We have the same Father!! This is true to the extent that Jesus himself is not ashamed to call us his brothers.
I know it is a stretch of faith to receive the fact that we can consider ourselves Jesus’ brothers. But, it is based upon his sufferings; not our own righteousness. If we are “born again”, we are born out of God. We come from the same source!
Once Jesus was resurrected from the dead, Mary meets him at the tomb.
Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, (John 20:17 )
He did not call them disciples, servants or friends. Jesus called them “my brothers”. And, he said I am going to ascend to my/your Father!
Please remember, this was always the intention of the Father. He fully intended (still does) to bring many sons to glory. The basis of Him doing so is the suffering that Jesus experienced. That suffering allows us to leave the realm of the First Adam and the sin nature and enter into the realm of Father’s Divine Nature.
One message you do not hear frequently in the Church, (especially the Western world) is the message of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. However, it is a prerequisite to advancing from a child (teknon) to becoming a matured son (huios).
you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:15-18)
Faith-filled suffering is essential in this world for entrance and operation of Sonship. When we are at peace with God, even in suffering, He will be able to work His intentions in us as His sons. It is sharing in the sufferings of Christ that we come to know Father’s Nature, Grace and Love in ways we have never fathomed. It is in the breaking of suffering where Father’s intentions can be released and performed in the earth.
Do not let your heart be troubled. Resurrection life awaits right around the corner! Keep your peace!