In Greek class this past semester, we spent a lot of time in the book of Hebrews. I believe that the twin themes of suffering and solidarity explain the whole book. To a church at risk of abandoning its Christian confession in the face of suffering and because of the scandalous message of a suffering Messiah, the author of Hebrews revels in the heavenly priesthood of Christ Jesus. Christ’s priesthood implies both his suffering for our salvation and his solidarity with us in our suffering. All the titles of Jesus in Hebrews—Son, Pioneer, Finisher, High Priest—and all the exhortations in Hebrews in one way or another relate to his sufferings that led to victory (his and ours), to his solidarity with us and to our solidarity with the people of God in Christ (by our suffering and faith).
Our solidarity in Christ and with Christ by his blood is unshakeable and unbreakable. We aren’t simply a worker’s union bound by economic interests. We are bound by the blood of the Son of God. And that’s why we can persevere in faith and in generosity. I thank God for you, and I thank you in the presence of God for your labour of love. You are forever-loved, and we are forever-family. Keep Nigeria in your prayers as our politicians have begun to beat the drums of war, and the northern church is beginning to increasingly respond to the violence against her with more violence. May they hear and rest in God’s laughter against the nations.
Chinechetam ‘Jeremiah’ Ogazi