Focal Passage: Hebrews 2:14-18
Back in November 1995 a song called “One of Us” made its way into the Billboard Top 40. The song was by a relatively unknown artist named Joan Osborne. It was her first top 10 hit and the only one of her career. What is interesting is the content of the song. The title is the end of a question that is asked throughout the song. That question is “what if God was one of us?” The song wonders what it would be like if God were one of us. How would we respond to him? What kinds of things might he do?
The Bible has answered that question definitively. In Hebrews 2:14-16, the writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was, in fact, God in the flesh. He became “one of us” so that He might destroy the one who holds the power of death. It was necessary for Jesus to “share” in our humanity in order to reverse the effects of the Fall. Adam had failed and plunged all humanity into corruption. Only one who was “like us” could rescue us and defeat the enemy that had defeated Adam.
In Hebrews 2:17-18 we learn that Jesus also had to become like one of us so that he could become our high priest. Because He took on human flesh, He is a high priest who is merciful. While we are often tempted to think of Jesus’ divinity, it is His humanity that allows Him to empathize with us.
He understands what it means to face weakness, doubt, difficulty, hunger and temptation. Fortunately for us, He faced those things and overcame them. Because He is our perfect high priest, He is able to make atonement for us. But, as our high priest, Jesus did not offer an animal, but Himself as the perfect Lamb of God.
What if God was one of us? He was. God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, the God-man. And because He did, the one who became like us was able to deliver us. And, because He became like us, He is able to help us when we are tempted.