A God Who Gets It
Read Hebrews 2:14-18 (ESV)
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Why is Jesus able to empathize with us?
Have you ever shared your heart with someone only to realize from their response that they just don’t get it? There is nothing quite as disheartening as hoping to find someone who understands your struggle but instead finding someone who offers trite platitudes void of compassion. We long for someone who has gone before us who can offer meaningful guidance based on true empathy.
Humans, no matter how well meaning, often let us down in this area. But Jesus truly gets it. We might be tempted to think that Jesus doesn’t understand. He’s God! How could He possibly understand our struggles? But in today’s verse, we see that Jesus took on flesh and blood. He became a man. He subjected Himself to all of the pain, suffering, trials, and temptations that we go through as humans. Jesus became mortal. He came to earth to die—to experience death! So that through His death, He would conquer death and defeat Satan.
The author of Hebrews calls Jesus our “merciful and faithful high priest” (v.17). In order to understand what that means, we need to understand the role of a high priest. Under the Old Covenant, a priest’s job was to make sacrifices on behalf of the Israelites to satisfy the Law. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Most Holy Place to put blood on the Ark of the Covenant to cover the sins of all God’s people. But this covering was only temporary. Jesus is our Great High Priest because His blood is the perfect atonement for our sins. His blood sacrifice covers our sins permanently.
But as our High Priest, He does more than cover the sins we’ve already committed. Verse 18 says that because He understands our weaknesses and struggles with temptation, He is willing and able to help us when we are facing temptation!
Friends, in Christ we find someone who truly “gets it.” Someone we can share our struggles with and receive meaningful help. Jesus can sympathize with our temptations. He understands our pain. He has walked in our same weaknesses–and yet He did not sin. His guidance is not trite, it is truth offered in compassion. He gets it. And because He gets it, He faithfully grants His followers mercy and strength.
Jesus, thank You for loving me so much that You were willing to take on flesh and experience human weaknesses and temptations in order to be the perfect and permanent atonement for my sins. Thank You for understanding my struggles and helping me overcome them. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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