“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
~Hebrews 2:14-15 (TNIV).
Oh the pungent glory of this thought: Jesus came to live as we currently do, that by the meek willingness to suffer, like we do, he could suffer inextricably more, and by that, crush the power of sin and death for all humankind.
Our heavenly Lord is a practical God.
Better than the angels, surely, Jesus helped people and he continues to help millions upon millions today.
Imagine for a moment a God that is close to help and not distant or aloof. This is our God — our personal Lord!
Of the Father, Jesus came as a babe in a manger, and not as glamorous as many nativity scenes would depict. It was a tenuous time to be born... a time of a strange regional peace, but without much safety or respect for the Hebrews.
What patience of God that he invested in life, to bring the Word into flesh being. To wait a full thirty years before what was variously promised might come into fruition. To watch a hapless world reject the Son. How wondrous is the grace of God to persist in the stooping when those being stooped for are so foolishly indifferent?
Not only did the Father suffer — the Son rejected — the Son suffered also, and perhaps most belligerently when we consider that this man came from God and was God.
Hebrews 2:18 says it all in plain terms that we can understand. It’s because he suffered when he was tempted that he perfectly identifies with our suffering and can actually help, and never in ways leading us to the superstitious, the hocus-pocus — which is, by the way, a classic symptom of a very human ‘theology’ seen in much of paganistic ‘religion’ many of those who don’t believe in God espouse.
What is real is that God suffered, and continues to, in the midst of pain and a world going wrong. There’s no hiding this from God — he’s acutely aware as he always was.
By virtue of the fact that he came and that he suffered and went sinless into an entirely sinful sort of death, God incarnate, Jesus, bought our souls and he brought us to the throne of the Father, and death has no victory of fear over us, when we accept this.
What Jesus explored and implored was the very essence of humanity on that tree.
No more perfect a qualification could there ever be. How indeed was God to have such wisdom to do this; for the Divine Suzerain to die sacrificially for the lowly vassal?
This is incomprehensible; a wonder sweeping as a mystery through the ages.
And, into the bargain, we have no fear, now, of the physical death!
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.