Merciful High Priest
“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17
For Jesus to be a merciful and faithful High Priest, He needed to be able to understand our condition and our temptations. He had to suffer and endure temptations and rejection as a human man. Anything less than that would have left Him as a distant God with a feeling for our infirmities.
Jesus came for the purpose of redeeming fallen humanity. He must be a perfect sacrifice. All of the sacrifices of the Old Testament were just pictures, because they were not a perfect human being who could atone for the sins of all other human beings. The only way was for Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, to take on the form of a man and become our sacrifice.
In doing so, He also took on Him the sufferings and temptations of fallen humanity. As we consider the life of Jesus, we find Him being tempted in the wilderness in Matthew 4.
In that temptation, we find such a great example for us in our temptations. Jesus responds to Satan each time by quoting scripture. I’m quite convinced that Jesus could have said something very profound in those times, as He did many times with the Pharisees. However, our example is that scripture is what we need to overcome the temptations.
If Jesus had given in and made the stones into bread, He could no longer have fully identified with us who are not able to do the same. Instead, we are reminded that God’s Word is more important than anything else.
We find throughout His time here that He was rejected and persecuted, even unto death. Couldn’t He have just come as a King, and then by martyred? That would make a great story and headline. But then He would not have suffered the common things that all persons might suffer. He was hungered, tired, thirsty, no real place to call home. Think about all the things that He went through to bring us to God.
“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” Hebrews 12:3-4.
We can surely consider our wonderful Lord who endured more than we can even imagine. We are reminded that we have not yet suffered in such a way. Consider Him in the garden before the cross, praying in agony. He knew that He would have to take on Himself the sins of the whole world, and that would necessitate that His Father turn from Him for that moment in time.
When our trials, sufferings and temptations seem to overwhelm us, we can be certain beyond doubt that Jesus understands. He feels each and every one of our sufferings. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
We are never beyond Jesus’ ability to understand and sympathize with our circumstances. We need to be careful that the enemy not cause us to think that our Lord no longer cares about us or our situation.
Satan will often try to get us thinking that God is against us or no longer cares. Nothing could be further from the truth. While we may not always realize it, He is with us through our trials. Just like the three young men in Daniel who were cast into the fiery furnace. They found the Lord walking in there with them. He is still in the fire today. We never walk alone. Hebrews 13:5
The world today would have us think that no one should suffer at all. They will even ask why God would allow such suffering. We need to understand that suffering has a purpose. God allows suffering in our lives to accomplish His purpose for an eternal benefit. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” 2 Corinthians 4:17. Romans 5:3-5.
Are you suffering today? Are you in the fiery trial? Are you being tempted by the enemy? I have the answer for you. Go to the throne of grace in prayer. You will find there a merciful and faithful High priest that understands and will walk with you. Jesus is preparing us to be part of that bridal company that He longs for. Hebrews 12:2. He had a “joy set before Him” and we have a “joy set before us”. Selah