I am working on the chiastic structures for the book of Hebrews. What amazed me today, was a theme I found repeated twice for emphasis toward the end of the chapter:
1.1) Heb 2:14a, Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same,
1.2) Heb 2:14b-15, That through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
1.3) Heb 2:16, For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
2.1) Heb 2:17a, Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren,
2.2) Heb 2:17b, That He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
2.3) Heb 2:18, For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Let’s just think about this for a minute. The Creator and Ruler of the universe put on flesh and blood for our sake, so that He might:
Know through experience the struggle of being flesh and blood, so that He might remain merciful and faithful (not that I believe His mercy or faithfulness would ever waver, but so that we might trust in the extent of His mercy and faithfulness);
Experience death as we all must experience death, but to the purpose of destroying the power of death and the devil who wields the power of death;
Release us from the bondage of the fear of death … for because of His death which made propitiation for us, our death cannot hurt us any longer, but only opens the door for us to enter into greater life and greater glory;
Suffer temptation so that we might trust in His desire and ability to aid us, not punish us, in our temptations and weaknesses.
When we are faced with a test or temptation, our first instinct is often to hide ourselves as Adam did in the Garden, when he faced his first test and temptation, and failed. But the Creator and Ruler of the universe, in being made like us in all things, knows and understands the pain and difficulty of facing tests and temptations, having faced them Himself, but without sin. This is to encourage us to run TO HIM instead of away of from Him, for He has aid waiting for us from the throne of grace, mercy to help us in our time of need (Heb 4:16).
I have known and understood these things for 45 years, but it never ceases to amaze me, when I am reminded of them!