Sometimes we wonder if anyone really knows what we feel? This feeling is followed quickly with does anybody really care? Some people will listen for a nano second but always with their minds turning quickly with how they will answer in ways that will turn the attention back to them. We humans are like that. Why does God bother with us at all? But He does. He sent Jesus, His Son, to earth to experience all of life as a human who would than die for our sins as the perfect, unblemished sacrifice for our sins. Yes, before defeating death, he experienced life as we know it.
Jesus cried with others who grieved. His heart broke for those who turned their backs on a pure, loving relationship with God. He felt righteous anger for those who made a mockery and circus of God’s Law by adding religious rights that promoted self with power plays—instead of seeking God in relationship. Jesus’ mission was to come to earth, move into the neighborhood of humans, as a human born to a virgin. Led by God, His Father, Jesus served humanity with healing, balance of grace and mercy, setting things right, changing human thinking, while teaching others to pass on the real Way to Truth and Life forever through believing and following Him.
Jesus was the Word of God come down, walking among God’s created. He knew what it was like to be poor. He knew the struggles of a people oppressed. But Jesus’ greater work was to defeat what we fear most—death because of our sins. He completed this mission from God by taking our place as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, taking on all the pain from that act, as Son of Man. He felt every slap, spit on his face, the jerk of the ropes that bound him. He felt ever push and shove along with every fist to his face and sharp metal claws on whips that ripped open his flesh. He felt ever nail that pierced his body strategically placed so he would hang on a cross for all passersby to see. He felt it all—as a human.
God cannot be where sin resides. God had to turn his face from Jesus, His Son, while the act of grace for all humanity took place, for at this moment all the sin of the world was placed on the body of our Savior. When it was finished—the punishment for our sin paid in full, death came—but not for long! After three days, God unleased His resurrection power, raising Jesus back to life, forever defeating death and all sin that leads to death!
The final act on earth of His love, grace and mercy was to appear physically to His disciples who were hiding out in fear. Jesus showed them He was very much alive—in human form!
“… Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.” Luke 24:36-49
Fear replaced with Hope!
Now, we come to this passage that reiterates the obvious faith we should have and hold tightly to, “keeping a firm grip”, knowing and believing that “by God’s grace, he fully experienced death in every person’s place.” “It makes good sense”, the writer of Hebrews relates. “Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death.”
“It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.”
Do we obviously have the faith to believe in the One and Only who saved us?
With this reading, along with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, it is obvious that Jesus really does know us by name along with knowing our pain. He knows the trials we are currently going through along with all the “feels” of human doubts and fears that creep into our thinking. He knows and He cares. He is our Advocate to God. And He is already at work before we even thought to ask for His help. “Ask and it shall be given”—Jesus
Isn’t it obvious now that you and I were the very reasons that held Him to the cross that redeemed us from all our sin? “It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip”…
Hebrews 2, The Message
1-4 It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit.
The Salvation Pioneer
5-9 God didn’t put angels in charge of this business of salvation that we’re dealing with here. It says in Scripture,
What is man and woman that you bother with them;
why take a second look their way?
You made them not quite as high as angels,
bright with Eden’s dawn light;
Then you put them in charge
of your entire handcrafted world.
When God put them in charge of everything, nothing was excluded. But we don’t see it yet, don’t see everything under human jurisdiction. What we do see is Jesus, made “not quite as high as angels,” and then, through the experience of death, crowned so much higher than any angel, with a glory “bright with Eden’s dawn light.” In that death, by God’s grace, he fully experienced death in every person’s place.
10-13 It makes good sense that the God who got everything started and keeps everything going now completes the work by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect through suffering as he leads all these people to glory. Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to treat them as family, saying,
I’ll tell my good friends, my brothers and sisters, all I know
I’ll join them in worship and praise to you.
Again, he puts himself in the same family circle when he says,
Even I live by placing my trust in God.
And yet again,
I’m here with the children God gave me.
14-15 Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.
16-18 It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.
You have made it more than obvious that you love us beyond our understanding and wildest dreams. Jesus, You made it obvious that you died and rose again so that we would have full access to God, the Father. It is also obvious that what you want most is an intimate, growing, holy relationship with me. I want that more than anything else in this life. Obviously, life forever with you is the final destination after our journey here. Thank you, Lord, for plain teaching that leads to a growing, obvious faith in You! I lay my life before you as worship to you again this day.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen