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Our Merciful and Faithful High Priest
Hebrews 2:17-18
Our Savior is one who both understands our temptations and is powerful to save us from them.
Published December 1st, 2016
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Hebrews 2 17 Therefore he had to be made like the brothers in everything, that he might be a merciful and trustworthy high priest to God, in order to forgive the sins of the people. 18 For, through that which he himself suffered, being tempted, he is able to help those being tempted.
Hebrews 2:17-18
ὅθεν ὤφειλεν κατὰ πάντα τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ὁμοιωθῆναι,
Therefore he had n to be made like his brothers in every respect,
ἵνα ἐλεήμων γένηται καὶ πιστὸς ἀρχιερεὺς τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν
o so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest p in the service of God,
εἰς τὸ ἱλάσκεσθαι τὰς ἁμαρτίας τοῦ λαοῦ.
to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
ἐν ᾧ γὰρ πέπονθεν αὐτὸς πειρασθείς,
For because he himself has suffered q when tempted,
δύναται τοῖς πειραζομένοις βοηθῆσαι.
he is able to help those who are being tempted.
1) Two things about Christ are clear from this passage; first, he became like us in being, office, and experience. He shares the flesh and blood of humanity, he took on the role of high priest to God, and he has suffered in temptation like we have. Jesus is an incredibly relatable Savior who took on humanity for the purpose of being a merciful and trustworthy intercessor for us. Second, Jesus is an incredibly powerful Savior. He was the only one who, taking on human form, could save us from our sin. The combination of these two truths has been helpful to me in the face of my struggle with sin. Our high priest is not a cruel tyrant who commands without compassion, nor is he simply a friend who can sympathize without any real ability to help. Jesus is the kind of Savior who can empathize with our temptations and who, at the same time, has overthrown the power of sin. 2) We're now in the Advent season. Often, the Christmas season in college can feel nonexistent - we're too caught up in final projects, papers, presentations, and exams to think about Christmas. But this passage reminds me that the incarnation of Christ - what we celebrate during Advent - is in large part what gives us hope to continue. Because Christ became like us, and because he became a high priest on our behalf, and because he suffered with the same temptations we experience, we have hope to continue through a difficult few weeks. Let's remember together that the Advent season is not something separate from finals, but rather a reason to celebrate through and despite the stress.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.