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Again, we learn the necessity of His suffering in order to His sympathy. Before He suffers, He has the pity of a God; after He suffers He has learnt the compassion of a man. And though in the fight the general seems to have gone up the hill, and left the army to struggle in the plain, He has gone like Moses to the mount to lift all-powerful bands of intercession, and bearing in His heart tender compassion, a fellow-feeling of our pains. No Christ is worth anything to me, suffering and bleeding and agonising here, unless He be a Christ of whom I know that His heart is full of sympathy because Himself has felt the same, and that He has learnt to run to the help of the miserable, because He Himself is not ignorant of misfortune.
Then we learn, further, the necessity of the Captain’s suffering in order to emancipate us from the dominion of the evil that He bears. No doctrine of identification with our common infirmities, or sympathy in regard of our daily trials is adequate to explain, or to reach to the depths of this paradox of a crucified Commander. We need another thought than that, and it lies in this. ‘He Himself bare our sins in His own body on the tree.’ The necessity for knowing all our condition and sharing it was not the only necessity that brought Christ to suffer and to die. But upon Him was gathered the whole mass and Blackness of human sin, and in His separation from the Father, and in the outward fact of death, He bare our miseries, and by His stripes we were healed. No Christ is enough for me a sinner except a Christ whose Cross takes away the Burden and the penalty of my transgression. And thus ‘it became Him to make the Captain of salvation
perfect through suffering,’ else the design of making men His sons and sharers of His glory could never come to pass.
—Alexander MacLaren From a sermon “Christ’s Perfecting by suffering” Text Heb. 2:10