Suffering is part of life. But is it necessary? Must one go through a time of extreme pain, a wilderness wandering, a valley, to experience a new and better life?” Behind the word “necessary” lurks the assumption that we are in control. But we’re not. “In due time” God will lift us up (1 Pet. 5:7), but we must surrender to the reality that our times are in his hands (Ps. 31:15). As it was for Jesus, so it will be for us: God's way to the new life always passes through the crucifixion. Jesus, the perfect image of God and the perfect human being, shows us that a fully human life must include suffering, and that we can only become the man or woman God intends us to be through suffering. Jesus, who was without sin and never did anything to deserve his Father’s displeasure, was made “perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10). The author of Hebrews dares to say that Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8), and that this is part of what makes him our compassionate high priest (Heb. 4:15), able to help us in our time of need. If Jesus, the perfect child, had to learn how to trust and obey through suffering, how much more necessary is it for you and me?