Now that we have established the necessity of suffering in 2 Timothy 2, let us turn to Paul’s second point in verses 8 through 13: if we suffer, we win. If we persevere, glory will come. Glory will come!
Paul highlights this point by using three examples. He offers three examples to prove that glory will come after suffering. The first example (which we will talk about today) is that of Jesus Himself. Look at verse 8. Paul tells us to remember Jesus. What are we to remember? We must remember that Jesus has risen from the dead. For Jesus to rise from the dead means that He was at one point dead. Jesus, who is a descendant of King David, was killed. Jesus, who is of royalty, was murdered. We all know this, but it needs to sink in. Jesus suffered greatly. He was falsely arrested; He was condemned, He was tortured, and He was murdered on a cross. For a brief period, His home was among the dead. Jesus suffered!
But suffering did not have the last word. No! Jesus victoriously rose from the grave that Sunday morning. He was gloriously vindicated (justified). Jesus was shown to be more powerful than death. His glory was on display! But Jesus first had to suffer. Do you see this?
Jesus had to suffer in order to get glory. The same is true for us, believers, today. Do you now why see Jesus is Paul’s first example of suffering par excellence? No, Jesus’ suffering is not a metaphor, per say, like the solider, the athlete or the farmer. Rather, he is the best example of what all of these metaphors practically look like. In this way, the life of Christ is a comparison of kinds: Jesus provides the model for how to apply the qualities and virtues of suffering that we see in these other professions and, at the same time, he was the model that inspired the qualities and virtues of sufferings in these other professions. The argument is circuitous, but you get the point: Do you want to know what it looks like to persevere in the midst of suffering? Look to Jesus.