You don’t simply get to be called a Navy SEAL. You have to earn that title—through an almost-incomprehensible amount of training and testing. Most notorious is Hell Week. As the defining moment of their training, potential SEALs have to make it through five and a half days of brutal training conditions while getting fewer than four hours of sleep.
All the while, they are told to give up. If they ring a bell that signifies they are quitting, they can get warm and dry and then get some sleep. Only 25 percent make it through—and only those who have suffered themselves get the title.
Jesus didn’t simply get to be called Savior. He earned that title—through an almost-incomprehensible amount of testing. He endured the brutal conditions of being tempted in the wilderness for 40 days by Satan, who encouraged him to give up. But he didn’t quit.
That prepared him for his other Hell Week, what we now call Holy Week. After having people mock him, spit on him, and whip him, it ended with him thirsty, naked, and hanging on a cross. They encouraged him to “ring the bell” by coming off the cross and saving himself. Even worse, he hung there, separated from the Father, and cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
But he didn’t quit. Instead, he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
Now we simply get to be called children of God—because Jesus earned the title for us.