“[Even] now I rejoice in the midst of my sufferings on your behalf. And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed [on our part] of Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” Colossians 1:24 Biblically there are two ‘Ages’ referred to: ‘The Wicked Current Age’ and ‘The Age to Come’. I have been cross referencing this passage to get a better understanding of what Paul is saying here. When I first read it I was like, “what do you mean Christ’s afflictions are incomplete, His work of justification was complete on the cross!”. The understanding of the 2 Ages helped me comprehend what is going on so I took all of the information gathered in cross reference and commentaries and built the illustration below (sorry, I know it is rough). Rather than thinking that ‘The Evil Wicked Age’ and ‘The Age to Come’ stand back to back, Tyndale and other writers believe (and now I do too) that these Ages overlap. Jesus’ resurrection had inaugurated the new age, but the old age would continue alongside it until Jesus’ second coming. The whole of the span between the Lord’s resurrection and His return was, then, the period of the turn-around of the eras; and therefore the whole period would be characterized by the ‘Messianic woes’. Such suffering is regarded as evidence that the sufferers are truly God’s new people. So, the sufferings of the church during this time are also the sufferings/afflictions of Jesus since we are IN Him and He is IN us. Just as the Messiah was to be known by the path of suffering he freely chose,, so his people are to be recognized by the sufferings they endure. I like how it is clear from this that we can participate in some of the blessings of the Age to Come while we are here in ‘The turn-around of the eras”.