It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,
‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again, ‘Here am I and the children whom God has given me.’
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Devotion by Julia Shiver
Clearly, I am no biblical scholar. But I think that this passage boils down to one thing; one thing that we know in our heart of hearts but need reminding of from time to time. Our savior, Jesus Christ, was the Son of God, but he was also a son of man, fully human. He suffered in many of the ways that we suffer. Jesus knows our inner demons, our longing, our loneliness, our physical suffering, our conflicts, tensions, and anxieties.
Some say that if you really, truly have faith in God, then God will relieve all your burdens and suffering. Basically, if you are still hurting, you don’t have enough faith (expletive deleted!) God never promised to remove all difficulties in life, but God did promise to never abandon us, that we never, ever walk alone. Christ gets us. Some of the troubles of the world are as old as time itself, while others are products of our time and place on Earth. Jesus understands it all and walks every step of the way with us. Thanks be to God.
In this Christmas season, we celebrate the birth of your son, Jesus. But we look always to the true gift, Easter, when the great covenant between you and your people was made anew in Christ. Amen.