I hate suffering. My clients hate suffering. Everyone I know hates suffering. And that is healthy. Even God hates suffering.
We often think He wants us to suffer, but it’s not true.
His favorite things are love, joy, peace, carefreeness (is that a word?), laughter, rest, confidence, humor, kindness, mercy, compassion. So then why does scripture say Jesus was “perfected through suffering”? Especially since he was already perfect?
I believe it is talking about perspective. And since this is a blog on perspective, why not take this on.
I’ve been writing all about Jesus’ suffering on my God-in-a-Box blog this week. It’s heavy, sobering, amazing, and not very real to most of us, because it doesn’t make sense to a lot of thinking people. Why should he have to die so we don’t have to? Does God kill people? (Some of us don’t think so. But that’s for another blog.) Did God kill Jesus instead of us?
No. God didn’t kill Jesus–it’s right there in scripture–God let go. God stopped protecting Jesus, and as a man he died–evil killed him. Sin-which is separation from God–killed him. And that IS what God wants us to know.
We are separated from God on this planet. Not because God wants it that way, but because our first parents chose it for us. They said, “I don’t know if I can believe God; I don’t trust Him; I’ll do what I feel and think I should.” That made separation (sin) for them. For us it’s also become “I don’t believe there is a God.” or “I don’t need God and don’t want Him,”–and that will kill you because you aren’t made to live independently of Him. He is your source. He is life. And light, And love…everything good.
So is He everything bad too?
NO. Evil is the bad. God has no evil in Him. I think evil is a very big, very old, very long story. (One that I have shortened into 55 pages and it’s coming out next week on kindle, (God willing) under the title Love’s Playbook.)
And evil will kill you. It killed Jesus when he came here as a man. That is what the whole universe needed to know–the destructive nature of evil. God doesn’t want us to die, but being pure, stable energy, He does consume evil–unbalanced, unstable energy. So if you are evil, and come into God’s presence, guess what?
That is our problem. God doesn’t want to be away from us. But we became half evil when our world’s first parents chose it for us, and there was no way to keep us alive, unless we would choose against evil, and choose good. But how? We were quickly losing our power to choose by either not choosing, or by making poor choices. And then God’s adversary said God couldn’t forgive us because we are evil, and it can’t be reversed.
If God is anything, He is relational. And he loves intensely everything He made. But He wanted us to be able to love too, (love is a choice) so He made us capable of choosing. And believe it or not, we still are.
But who is going to choose God if they are scared to death of Him? If they think He is responsible for evil and death and suffering? Ah, I finally got back to our original topic.
That is how and why God came to be Jesus–perfected through suffering.
I see God as one office or position filled by three beings. One of those God-beings offered to transform into a human baby, become one of us, go through our life and death (the “second death” in scripture) to show the universe what God is like and what They will do for those They love. God was willing to become a man, not use any of His power, but live totally dependent on God as we can. I should say, as we get to.
That is why He had to be perfected through suffering. He needed to go through everything we go through and more. He lived our life without being contaminated by evil. He suffered–has EXPERIENCED evil–from our human perspective. That is how He became the perfect conqueror of evil and won the right to give us his triumph, if we choose it.