I was seated in the booth at the Ram’s Horn in between friends laughing and eating greasy food. I had been gone all summer on a mission trip in South Carolina. There were so many stories to tell and hear. It was so good to be with my friends again. My summer was spent learning about God and seeking to serve him.
Then, Joe came in. He looked like he had seen a ghost. His face was pale and his voice a little shaky. He said, “Dan, you have to get home right now. Your Mom needs you home.” Time seemed to stand still, Joe was rarely serious, and in this moment I knew something bad had happened.
I tore out of the parking lot and sped home. The rest is bit of a blur. I remember the front room of our house being full of people. Our pastor was there and family and some close friends. My Mimi had died in a car accident on her way home from the family cabin. I don’t remember much after that.
How could God have allowed this to happen to me? Where was he? I had given him my summer and this is how how he re-paid me? In that moment, I felt completely and utterly alone in the universe. It felt as though didn’t care for me.
There is a reality that I had yet to learn about life. We are supposed to be crowned with glory. Our vocation from the beginning of time was to be in control as image bearers (the old word was “dominion”). Yet, the world is broken and we feel like we have little control of this world. A time is coming where our glory will be made complete, Jesus shows us this reality. He demonstrates this reality through his life a fully flesh and blood human being.
The Son of God had to share in our humanity to experience death for others (Hebrews 2:9)
In Hebrews 2:5-18, the preacher argues for the full humanity of Jesus. In verses 5-8, we see the statement of the reality that the world is broken in the “right now”, yet Jesus displays perfectly the “not yet.” Before the “not yet” could be displayed Jesus had to suffer death for everyone. If Jesus wasn’t fully human then he couldn’t truly taste death for others. Death is not simply a “one off” but it includes the broader picture of experiencing life in the body.
The Son of God had to share in our humanity to bring us glory (Hebrews 2:10)
Humanity moving from brokenness to glory was made possible by Jesus’ sufferings. His sacrifice was “made perfect” because it was accomplished in his humanity. The preacher argues that suffering was a significant aspect of Jesus bringing “many children to glory.” Why? Because to be human is to experience suffering. In a broken world to suffer is normal, it is expected.
The Son of God had to share in our humanity to vanquish our enemy, the devil (vv 14-15)
Because Jesus was fully human he was able to act as our champion. In ancient battle, two armies would often send out a champion to represent the whole army. That way both sides could avoid significant losses. In this case, Jesus functions as our champion, our representative, in our battle against the power of death. If Jesus wasn’t fully human he could not be our true champion.
The Son of God had to share in our humanity to become our perfect high priest (vv 17-18)
Jesus became our high priest, the mediator between us and God. The role of the high priest was to make the sacrifice of atonement for the people once a year. This was done to reconcile the people with God. Their sin had broken the relationship between them and their God. Jesus is now the perfectly merciful and faithful high priest who perfectly restores us to fellowship with God.
That night as I laid in my bed I was not alone. My merciful high priest, Jesus, was with me. Even if nobody else could identify with the pain and sadness I was in that night, he could. He knew my suffering. He had been through it. As we walk through this life, we are not alone, because Jesus is one of us.