But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels…
Paul reveals in I Corinthians 1:23 that the Jews considered Jesus to be a “stumbling block.” A part of their difficulty lied in receiving the reality that God would become a man. This was compounded by the fact that their anointed messiah could and would be the victim of death. How could Jesus be greater than angels if angels never die? This lingering question is addressed early on in Hebrews.
Christ was made, for a little while, lower than the angels so that He could become a man. He had to become a man in order to die. He came to die because only His death could accomplish man’s salvation. At this time of year, with the presence of manger-scenes, consider that the small hands of Jesus were being developed to take on two gruesome spikes. His tiny feet would grow to climb Golgotha and then be spiked to a Roman cross. The body swaddled in the manger would be pierced by an executioner’s spear. His small head being cradled by a loving mother would be crowned by the stiffest of thorns. It was for this reason Christ came into our world. His death was no accident, nor was it forced upon Him. A tragedy it was not, rather it was God’s ultimate plan for His Son and His ultimate gift for mankind–– A Savior, for me… for you.
…in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest…He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Jesus came to identify with us and experience that which we do. Hunger, thirst, and fatigue He faced. He obeyed, taught, grew, loved, grieved and marveled. He was glad, angry, quiet and vexed. He wept, was tempted, prayed, read the Scriptures and sighed. He felt everything we could possibly feel, only with a far greater intensity. He never failed.
Why did He go through all of this? It was so that He could become our merciful and faithful high priest–– He could and does sympathize with our weaknesses, and He is able to come to the aid of us when tempted. He is not indifferent. He knows our pain. He is our powerful and holy God who we can go to not only for salvation but sympathy and help. There is none like Him.
Truly He is Immanuel, God with us!