Hebrews 2:10-18 says,
For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.”
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.
We see in these verses how heroic Jesus, our older Brother, is.
- He suffered (2:10)
- He partook of the same things (2:14)
- He destroyed Satan (2:14)
- He took away the fear of death (2:15)
- He became a merciful and faithful high priest (2:17)
- He was tempted so that he can help us when we are tempted (2:18)
Earlier in the chapter, the author quotes Psalm 8,
“What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Psalm 8 is coming true, but not without a cost. The price was the sufferings of Christ. But we must not think Jesus did this begrudgingly. “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” (Heb. 12:2) He suffered because of the great love with which he loved us.
His suffering was not a mistake. It was purposeful. Whether you realize it or not, the suffering of Jesus in his earthly body is some of the greatest help that you will ever receive, because in his suffering he was made the perfect high priest and the perfect savior. He can sympathize because he has been there.
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplication, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” (Heb. 5:7-8).
The school of Christ’s suffering has become the nursery for your wounded heart. Where he was hurt, you can be healed. Jesus allowed his flesh to be broken so that when ours breaks his pierced hands can put us back together.
No matter what you compare Jesus to, he always comes out better. He entered human flesh to show us that he is better in every situation, at every turning point, in every crisis. He came in human form as the prophetic Son to become the Great High Priest that the angels could never be. Because of that, he was exalted to the King we’ve always needed. Jesus is our heroic brother.
Most of us live with some sense of shame and a strong pull toward temptation. Those feed off of one another. The more tempted we are, the more shameful we feel, and the more shameful we feel, the more tempted we are. In Christ, that cycle can be broken.
We need someone who can help us. We need someone to reach down into or mess – into our shame and temptation cycle – and like Moses, to lead us out of Egypt. We need our own emigration out of sin, slavery, and death. Who can provide such an exodus? Jesus. Only Jesus can help because he himself has suffered when tempted. Therefore, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
The Christian life is not easy. Distractions are everywhere. We are prone to drift. But Jesus is our great Captain – when the ship of our faith begins to drift, he is there to bring us to glory. Let’s listen to this warning. Let it awaken us to the glory of Christ and see that in him our salvation is complete. Perhaps what we need is to hear afresh this word from God and respond, like Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” (John 6:68)