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. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Jesus Was Incredible Human Being
It is hard to grasp how God can dwell in the flesh. Understanding the divine nature is far beyond the wisdom of men to fully recognize the power of God to send His Son to earth allowing Him to embody the carnal flesh and experience everything of this world. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she was impregnated with an eternal being that would grow in her womb until the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to a little boy who was God yet man. Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes like any other Hebrew child. He did not know how to speak or to care for himself dependent upon Joseph and Mary to feed him, wash him and protect him from harm. For a few months he would scoot along the ground learning to crawl and then that day Mary never forgot when little Jesus sat up all by himself. The early life of Jesus was filled with the wonders of Egypt as the family had fled there when Herod tried to kill the infant son. Wise men from the East had brought presents to the family and the little boy who toddled around the house in Bethlehem before word came that Herod wanted to kill him. Joseph and Mary would live in Egypt for a time and then return home to Nazareth where Jesus would experience the world of Galilee and the trade of a carpenter. Joseph must have been excited when Jesus took his first steps and first called him, “Abba.” The hours Mary held her little boy must have been treasured all her life. Jesus would see the birth of four brothers and at least two sisters making a large family complete for the Son of God. It goes without saying Jesus was the perfect child and brother. As the oldest child Jesus would have held a place of honor and respect among his siblings. He wore the clothes of his day, enjoyed the sweetness of figs, took baths, watched the sunrise and set feeling the gentle breeze on hot summer days, helped his siblings as they made provisions for the day, walked with his father around Nazareth and did everything a growing boy in Israel would do. Once a year he would go with the people up to Jerusalem and worship at the Temple. It must have been a beautiful sight to the young man as he first approached the holy city and saw the gleaming Temple standing so regal among the buildings. The trips to Jerusalem were filled with singing, family, people, and worship.
Life for Jesus was filled with the challenge of Satan’s onslaught for the devil knew the child of Mary was the Son of God. At the age of twelve Jesus recognized He had to be about His heavenly Father’s business but his work of ministry would have to wait for eighteen years. During that time he grew into a young man and Satan threw his best efforts toward Jesus with temptation. The brothers of Jesus would face the same assault. James, Joses, Judas, and Simon would find it hard to withstand the temptations of the devil as all men would fall from the grace of God. The sisters of Jesus would fall to the plague of sin. Even Joseph and Mary failed at times as sin encroached on their lives. For Jesus, he remained pure and sinless. It must have grieved his heart to see how sin brought pain and suffering. Jesus knew the pain of weeping as his earthly father died and like many people experienced loved ones and friends who would die. He saw the injustice of the Roman Empire inflict its ruthless rule upon the citizens. There was much in the Roman world of Jesus that was unjust but as a captive nation, citizens of Israel had little to do but to obey. A Roman soldier could compel a person to carry anything they desired with no recourse from the individual. Crucifixion was a common tool of execution and would have been a familiar sight to Jesus. Life for the man from Nazareth was as common as any other man. Jesus would not have stood out in a crowd of people. His appearance was not a stately or imperial stature. No one took notice of Jesus in the town of Nazareth apart from the oldest son of Joseph and Mary, son of a carpenter. Jesus was made like his brethren in every way.
When the Roman soldiers laid the criminal on his back and nailed him to a cross, they pierced the flesh of a man who looked to them as a common rabble accused and convicted of a crime. There was no sympathy or appeal for mercy. They carried out their duty with surgical precision as they had done many times before. Two other men were crucified that day as the accused cursed the soldiers and those who gathered to watch. Completing the crucifixion, the four soldiers sat down and began dividing the earthly possessions of the three men hung before them. While the two men on right and left railed against the world, the man in the middle was remarkably composed. He did not curse, swear or accuse. His voice was quiet and gasping for breath as he asked forgiveness for those who gathered before him. He called out to God seeking comfort. One of the criminals had a change of heart and Jesus told him that he would be gathered to Paradise. The man in the middle cried out in thirst. Beneath the cross in the crowd the mother of one of the condemned stood with some other women and a man. He looked into his mother’s eyes and saw her incredible grief and then turned to the man and petitioned him to care for his mother. Finally, he gasped his final breath and cried out to the Father and died. God died. The Son of God gave up his spirit. He breathed his last. The heart of the man called Jesus stopped, the blood stopped flowing, the eyes closed and the head fell upon the chest as the body relaxed in death. Shortly thereafter a soldier would pierce the right side of Jesus to make certain he was dead. The soldier would see blood and water coming out of the wound confirming the man called Jesus was dead. Darkness had filled the sky as the world created by the hand of God felt the eternal seizures of the death of God who came in the flesh. Jesus was made like all men that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in the service of God bringing the joy of salvation through His death. He was an incredible human being because He was a human being. Everything experienced in the flesh was experienced by Jesus Christ so that He could be the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Thank you, Jesus, for your human form and example of godly fear in your suffering, being tempted to become an example of hope for all.