II HEBREWS 9
THE HUMAN JESUS
The Hebrews writer has spent much time emphasizing the position of Jesus and His importance to all mankind. Remember that the entire book seems aimed at those who were in danger of defecting from Jesus Christ because of the persecution they were suffering, and the influence of the Greek culture in which the lived. This writer is trying to show them the foolishness of rejecting Jesus for any reason.
The first part of this letter describes in intimate detail the position of Jesus Christ as greater than anything in all of God’s creation, and the One “by whom and for whom all things exist”. Following this description of His majesty, our writer points out how man had left the
exalted position God had given him as master of the whole earth, and through sin was no longer in that position. However, Jesus became a man and walked the earth to lead the way for man to return to the place God intended for him to have, i.e., a companion of God and master of all the world.
Now, the writer moves from giving us the majestic picture of Jesus
the Son of God, to showing us Jesus the High Priest, and the connection between God and man. To do so, we have the assurance that Jesus actually was a human being. This point cannot be over emphasized.
Too many people see Jesus as a Heavenly being walking the earth, but still having all the miraculous powers He had in Heaven. That defeats the whole purpose that God had in sending Him. We have to believe that Heaven is possible for human beings like us. To open the gates and lead the way back into the Garden of Eden with God, Jesus had to live as a human, with all the weaknesses and temptations that men suffer.
This is the reason God used a woman to give birth to Jesus. He had to be born a human and grow as a human. The only knowledge Jesus
had from above was that He was the Son of His Father. At an early age He indicated this when He was surprised that His parents did not know that He had to be about His Father’s business, when they found Him in the Temple talking with Jewish teachers. Every miracle that He performed was, according to His own testimony, actually an act of God, not of Him. Each miracle was actually a testimony from God that this was His Son.
The Cross was not the only sacrifice that Jesus made. Leaving the glories of Heaven, and living for 33 years in the misery of this earth, was certainly a part of the sacrifice He was willing to make for you and me. So, in the communion, when we take the bread, remember that Jesus said, “This is my body”. In other words, I accepted a human body, and suffered it to be abused and afflicted for you. It was not
a being with the powers of Heaven to protect Him that hung on the
Cross. It was a human being, who earnestly prayed to His Father to not let this happen, if it could be avoided. Had He retained all the powers He had in the beginning, He would have known what had to be done. This was a part of the sacrifice He endured for you and for me.
Next we are going to study what it really means to us for Jesus to be
our High Priest. One point I want you to ponder before we address it
in our next essay: Jesus, the man, did not take on the office of our
High Priest. He was chosen for the role in the Order of Melchizedec.
Who was he, and what does this mean for us?