Our faithful High Priest
For it is clear that he does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring. Therefore, he had to be like his brothers and sisters in every way, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in matters pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:16-18 CSB
Closing out this section on Jesus’ status over the angels, the author of Hebrews shows that Jesus’ purpose on earth was to help “Abraham’s offspring” and not “to help angels.” Jesus Christ took upon Himself the form of humanity and not the form of angelic being, which may have been within the minds of the author’s audience. Also, according to Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia, in Galatians 3:29, believers are considered a part of Abraham’s lineage, and therefore, recipients of the covenant with God, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Then, the author reiterates that Christ was fully human as stated previously in verse 14 in order to provide salvation to humanity in verse 17, “He had to be like His brothers and sisters in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful High Priest in matters pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.” As a quick aside, the function of the high priest during the times of the Old Testament was to be the intermediary between the Jewish people and God. The high priest had to do many purification rituals before entering God’s presence, or else he would drop dead. This function would be very important on the day of atonement, when the high priest would offer a sacrifice to God to atone for the sins of the people for the year. Jesus Christ would become our perfect High Priest, being the intercessor between us and God, and would also serve as the atoning sacrifice for our sin once and for all. Finally, the author points out this comforting fact that Jesus Christ can fully relate to us due to His humanity, “since He Himself has suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted.” Jesus Christ experienced temptation to sin, yet prevailed and remained blameless. Because of these experiences, Jesus Christ provides us wisdom and guidance through an empathetic standpoint since He too faced the same trials and overcame them. Therefore, we should rely on Jesus’ teaching and His provided Helper, the Holy Spirit, to do the right thing when temptation comes. Not only that, but we should also not be afraid to bring our problems and struggles to Jesus as our High Priest, for He understands us and welcomes us, because He is merciful and faithful.
Isaac De Guzman