“Since the children share in blood and Flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”
When I was in the Marine Corps there existed a general lack of respect for most officers. As enlisted men, we felt that the officers often lorded their authority over us, thought themselves better and separated themselves from us, were unaware or unconcerned with our difficulties, trials, and general sufferings, or were simply unconcerned. Their mantra was “If the men aren’t complaining, they’re not happy.” Of course, that attitude never makes things better. Couldn’t it have been the case that we were not happy, we were complaining for good reason, and they should have done or tried to do something about it?
There was one type of officer we did like, however, and those were called Mustangs. They had served a number of years as an enlisted man before becoming an officer. They knew what we were going through, explained things in terms we understood, and helped us greatly in times of need. They were officers, but still one of us…and we loved them!
And that my friends is the type of leadership that our Lord Jesus Christ offers us! Hebrews tells us, “Since the children share in blood and Flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them.” He became one of us! He didn’t think Himself above us, though He was God. Instead He takes on human flesh, loves, feed, teaches, heals, and forgives us right where we are, in our brokenness and need.
And although that is certainly enough to command respect and love, our Lord goes one step further and offers His very life for us. As it goes, He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. He became like us in every way so that He might make atonement for our sins, as did the High Priest in ancient days. One of the people makes the sacrifice on behalf of and for the people.
Hebrews says, “Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” And so, my friends, like those good Mustang Marine Corps officers, in the depths of our suffering He knows our sadness and sorrow, He has been there. When life is tough, He has been there. When we are lonely, He has been there. Jesus never promises that those that follow Him will be without pain or sadness, but rather He will be with them through it, providing strength and grace, and opening the door for eternal life. Who wouldn’t follow that kind of leader? Amen?