A Reflection on Hebrews 2:14-18

Life is full of smiles and tears, joy and despair, good and bad. We often overlook the good to focus on the bad because bad news is more likely to lead us to a feeling. Bad sells better than good because our eyes would instead focus on the walls than the light at the end of the hall. Our hearts struggle to deal with cycles that drag us into the pit, and we end up hurting incredibly because of the darkness that envelops us. Even though there is light and hope; however when in the darkness, it is hard to hear or understand that. 

Have you recently received hard news? I spent the last half of 2021 in a state of limbo because we did not know whether my mother would live or die, and it was the kind of puzzle that frustrated the doctors and nurses because they didn’t have any answers either. Disease had taken hold of her and was not letting go. My family was in the same position many find themselves in, receiving bad news, trying to grasp what it means, and acting on the news. Hard news hits us and knocks us off balance; we just can’t grasp what and why. I remember this as a time when my mind was full of questions, my heart was full of aches, and my soul needed renewal.

The author of Hebrews connects these experiences with Jesus’ humanity and how because of Jesus becoming human, we connect to Jesus not only as a source of salvation from sin but also as a connection to the person that understands our human experience. Jesus gets our hurt and our pain, and because of that, Jesus can sit with us as our high priest and brother.

14 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, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 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. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. 

Hebrews 2:14-18 (ESV)

If we claim Christ as our savior, our tendency will focus on the supernatural elements of Jesus. The Gospels are full of stories about how Jesus brought healing to those suffering and even the power to resurrect the dead. However, with this power was also a human that looked at people with compassion and mercy. Jesus had friends that suffered from disease, demon possession, and even friends that died. These experiences allowed Jesus to understand the pain we experience when a loved one suffers. If you are going through a time when you are hurting because those around you are hurting, Jesus gets it.

Many approached Jesus with contempt in their hearts. The Gospels teach us that the powerful people of the church constantly hounded Jesus and tried to trick and trap Him in His words and teachings. It must have felt as if the world was crashing down at each word uttered, but Jesus unflinchingly took on the questions and comments with mercy and grace. Every time Jesus saw the traps coming, and was frustrated that He could not catch a break from the Pharisees and Sadducees and would be tempted to lose His mind and lash out in anger. Sometimes we feel as if the world is collapsing and attacks are coming from all directions; Jesus gets it.

We rely on our friends and family to carry us and support us in the most challenging times. Jesus had a close group of friends that were family throughout the ministry on Earth, but one of these led to His arrest and ultimate death on the cross. The betrayal experienced by Jesus is more profound than the betrayal that most of us would experience, but the people he trusted most let him down, and we, too, are sometimes let down by those that we know and love the most. When we are let down by how our family and friends treat us, Jesus gets it.

There is no escape from the pain in our lives, but Jesus came to our world and experienced all the same hurts that we experience. Jesus came and lived among us, was tempted like us, lived life with other humans like us, had friends and family like us, and had people who didn’t like Him and could get hurt like us. We can turn to Jesus regardless of the situation because He gets it. Jesus died for us because He loves us, and Jesus wants us to come and bring all of our burdens to Him because Jesus gets it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s