HE IDENTIFIED WITH ME
by Pastor James Sanders
Hebrews 2: 10 – 18
Paul Harvey a conservative radio talk show host, hosted a program for about 30 years called the “Rest of the Story.” He would tell you of a person and what they were doing now, but then he would tell you about the events of their life before or what lead them to what they were doing now.
He had a special story he would tell around Christmas time about a man and some birds. I do know if the story is true or not but if it if it a powerful one. The man was a normal person back during his time. He was a good citizen charitable and kind to his neighbors. He was not a scrooge or a grouch. One Christmas Eve, He told his wife that he was not going to the service that evening. He said he was starting to feel like a hypocrite because he really could not accept the incarnation of God becoming a man. So, he was not going to keep pretending. So, his wife and children headed off to church. After a while it started to snow, and it came down extremely hard. He began hearing some thuds against is big picture window and he thought some kids were throwing snowballs. He got up to look and he saw a flock of small birds. They were flying into his big picture window trying to get out of the snow. He felt sorry for them and begin to think of something he could do to help them. He thought if he could get them into his barn they would be saved out of the cold and snow. He put his coat and boots and went outside and open the barn doors and turned on the lights, but the birds paid him no attention. He began to way his arms and chase them to get them to go in, but they continued to scatter. He then went and got some breadcrumbs and made a trail to the barn, but they never moved toward him. He then realized they were afraid of him. He thought because he was a big man and had on that big coat, he was a fearful sight to them. Then he thought if he could just speak their language, if somehow for a few moments he could become a bird like them and show them the way. About that time the bells at the church started to ring and then he realized why God had to become a man to show him the way back to himself. Right there in the snow he fell to his knees and trusted Christ because it would have to be a loving God that would become like him to save him.
The writer of Hebrews gives us the embodiment of the incarnation of Christ. he had said in Chapter one that he was the “express image of God’s likeness” in his identity with God. But here in chapter two he reveals that he is the embodiment of God in his identity with mankind. He says in verse 10, “For it became him,” that when God would make the Captain or the author of our salvation complete through suffering, this demonstrated the deepest resources of God love for those he had created. That this suffering would make the Sanctifier and those needing to be Sanctified one, because they partook of the same suffering. Peter talks to us about being partakers of Christ suffering in 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13, But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
This embodiment was necessary so that we might be assured that we could get help in our time of need. He says in verse 18 “For in that he himself has suffered while he was being tempted, he is able to (succor) help those while they are being tempted.”
The sacrifice of Christ death for our sins was truly the act that delivered us from the bondage of sin and the fear of death, but it is the suffering of Christ that demonstrate his humanness and identifies himself with us in our weaknesses. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
He identified with us so we could be assured that he not only could but understood our need for help. He was touched with the very feeling of our weaknesses. So, when we say, “God understand what I am going through.” We are not using as an excuse to sin but as motivation to get his help to keep from sin. The first verse of scripture I memorized was 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will with the temptation make away to escape that you may be able to bear it.
Christ stands ready, willing, and able to help us in our moments of needs. Not just in helping us do right but also in helping keep us from doing wrong. We just need to make ourselves available to him to get that help. When some Christian sins they stop coming to church, reading their Bible, but that is what they need more than before. Every Christian is a confessed sinner. If not, then they possibly they are not saved because confession of sin is the first step to salvation. Christ identified with the feeling of the sinner even though he did not sin (4:15), so there is not any reason not to seek help from those who feels like you.