Been There…Done That…Got the Tunic!
I know that the title of today’s post sounds a little irreverent but I did it to “grab attention”. We’ve all heard the phrase: “Been there, done that…got the t-shirt”. People say that to let us know that they too have been to the tourist destination, or life experience, that we’re talking about…they have shared the experiences, good and bad and they know what we are talking about and/or dealing with. In the book of Hebrews there is one central argument. The argument being made is that “Jesus is better than Judaism”. That one phrase encapsulates the entire book of Hebrews. The writer of Hebrews makes the case that Jesus is so much better than the Jewish religion and that Jesus, and Jesus alone, is worthy of their worship. In chapter 2, the writer says this: 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Jesus shared in flesh and blood like we do. He had a fully human body, a body which ultimately was broken and killed. In verse 17 we read that Jesus was made like His brethren so that He could be a merciful and faithful High Priest. The word “brethren” there refers to all those who are followers of Jesus Christ. I know it sounds a little weird to most of us but a few times in the Bible we are referred to as “brothers” and “sisters” of Jesus. We, like Jesus, share in a relationship with the Father. We are not divine like Jesus, but because of Jesus’ humanity, we share a kinship with Him. Jesus was also tempted. Unlike a distant, far off “god” who is detached from humanity, Jesus experienced the full weight of temptation. The devil threw everything he had at Jesus and Jesus did not sin. So, Jesus is best able to help us during our time of temptation. He knows what we are going through and He knows it to the “nth” degree.
As we walk through the book of Hebrews remember that the purpose is to convince the reader that Jesus is far better than anything else. If you don’t believe that yet, please open your mind and heart to the message of the words of God in Hebrews. I’m pretty sure that you’ll come through this book with a greater appreciation for who Jesus is and hopefully a personal relationship with Him. He really has been there…done that…got the tunic…and He wants to be there for you as well, in good times and bad.