For an explanation of “Ordinary Time,” go to the tab “Ordinary Time, Year III: The Letters,” and then click “Introducing Ordinary Time to Evangelical Churches
It Was Fitting
We have said before that Hebrews does more to highlight our Lord’s priestly office and function than any other book or letter in the New Testament. Chapter one spoke of our Lord’s superiority to the angels by nature of being God’s Son, but chapter two wastes no time showing us that his exaltation to the Right Hand was predicated upon his suffering unto death for the sake of his “brothers” or “children,” that is, those whom he sanctifies through his suffering to bring before God.
We might momentarily trip over the beginning of the paragraph, “It was fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” What does “perfect” mean in this context? We cannot comprehend how he who is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature” (1:3), who shares the divine nature as the Father’s Son—how is it that he can be “furthered,” so to speak, in perfection? Was there something lacking in the Son which his suffering perfected? No. To make perfect in this case does not mean adding to a deficit or correcting something which was incomplete or fixing something which was broken; on the contrary, to make perfect in this passage refers to fulfilling the task he came to do and thereby attaining his goal, which was to sanctify those he would bring to God (NICNT, 139). Prior to his Incarnation, the Son had not fulfilled his task ordained in eternity to present a redeemed and sanctified people unto the Father. That task waited for the “fullness of time” to come (Galatians 4:4). It came and the Son completed the task which revolved around his suffering and death.
And now through his Incarnation, his sinless life, his suffering, death on our behalf, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the Right Hand (you see how none of these events can be separated from the other), he entered into his office of High Priest who brings us before the Father as a sanctified people. This is why the passage begins, “It was fitting.” How else might he bring us, sinners that we are, before the Father? How else might we be sanctified? “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins,” we are taught everywhere in Scripture (9:22). It is this priestly office the Son has earned through his work on earth, and these are his people whom he has sanctified through his blood and whom he may present to His Father by right of his suffering. These are those whom the Father gave to him to sanctify whom the Son now presents (John 6:37-39; 10:29; 17:2).