Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Through the darkness

For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.

Why does a God who is love allow suffering to exist? The Bible provides know simple answer, and I remain leery of people who do.

What today's reading does remind us of is that Jesus, the one "for whom and through whom all things exists," chose to enter into the very depths of human suffering. In the crucifixion God chose to feel agonizing pain.

Some read the sentence quoted at the top and are confused, asking, "How was he made perfect? Wasn't he perfect already?" Perfect here is not used in the way we commonly use it. In that sense Jesus was God and therefore already perfect. Perfect (teliosai) is used here the way were speak of a verb in a perfect tense, perfect in the sense of complete. Without suffering his mission would not have been complete.

Somehow suffering appears to be a constitutive part of the human experience. We should not go looking for it, neither should we fear it. It will come and when it does Jesus teaches us that we must enter into it, and through it reach our completion, our perfection.

The good news is Jesus went in there ahead of me and knows the way through. I do not have to fear that I will get lost in there. Jesus can and will guide me through.