Hebrews 2:9-18 (NIV)

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)

We have [a high priest] who has been tempted in every way, just as we are.

DEVOTION – Derek Sum Wei Siang (Perak, Malayshia)

Sometimes when talking with others I give examples of how Jesus responded when faced with temptation.  The usual response to this is, “Yes, but Jesus is God!”

We often thing that Jesus had the unfair advantage of being god, that temptation had no effect on him, that he by nature would resoond in the best possible way to bad situations.  We prefer to concentrate of Jesus as God, but today’s passage from Hebrews reminds us that Jesus was completely human, suffering as all of us do.

Jesus shared in our humanity.  He struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane; he was betrayed by a close disciple.  He endured public rejection and humiliation and the awful pain of flogging and crucifixion.  Were all of these just God going through a charade?  Was life easy for Jesus?  No.  jesus experienced every sensation and every emotion, just as any of us would.  However, in spite of it all, he remained pure and blameless.  That is what makes the message so powerful.  The gospel is not about how God effortlessly came to save us but how God became “fully human in every way” (v.17) – made like his brothers and sisters – and died to save us.

“Salvation is free,” we say.  Yes, it is free for us to receive – but it came at great cost to the Giver.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Jesus shows us how to be fully human and available to God.

PRAYER:  Dear Father, forgive us when we take for granted your gift of salvation.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those Facing Great Temptation