From Pastor May:
I was a fairly new driver. I felt something roll against my foot. I glanced down, grabbed the water bottle, glanced up… AND SLAMMED THE BREAKS! Too late. I struck the car in front of me, which then struck the car in front of them. I had my first accident. I got out, hands shaking. A woman got out of her car and, visibly angered, said, “Well, should we call the police?”
An older gentlemen got out of his car. After checking to see if we were all alright, and seeing that the damage was quite minor, he said, “Since everybody’s okay, let’s just exchange information.” Looking at me, he smiled sympathetically and asked, “First accident?” When I burst out into the most sincere apology of my life, he held up a hand and said, “Hey, don’t worry. I know you didn’t do it on purpose, that’s why they’re called accidents, right?” He winked, “And this isn’t a bad first one…” That man remembered being in my place… and I never forgot it.
This chapter reminds us that Jesus became one of us, literally standing in our place. And his time on earth was not complete until he suffered… in fact, the author of Hebrews talks about his time being perfected through suffering. Humankind had lost the image of God, and Jesus came to restore it… to intercede with the Father on our behalf. To do that, he had to become one of us… right down to the pain and death. Jesus identified with us on the deepest level of what it means to struggle – to suffer – through this life. And in doing so, he paid the price for our sins. But his work didn’t end there; Hebrews reminds us that he became our sympathetic high priest.
That means that the one who is talking to the Father on our behalf is someone who has been there… and still walks with us. As we go through our own trials and sufferings here in this life, we remember the one who walks with us. When the Son of God became incarnate, it was our flesh he took on. It’s our humanity which he still carries with him… so that humanity would be redeemed. Our Savior loved us enough to join us… that we might join him, forever.
Gracious Heavenly Father, we know how easy it is to get focused on our own lives, on our own experiences. We thank You for sending Your Son into this world… into our lives. By the power of Your Spirit turn our hearts and minds outward to the situations of others. May we never be afraid to suffer with one another, as that is what You would have us do. It is what Your Son did for us. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.