By John Bruggers
Why is it that God should make the founder of our “salvation perfect through suffering” (2:10)? The author answers this by pointing out that “He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest” (2:17). I want to draw attention to the words “in every respect”, because this is key to both the theme of priesthood and suffering.
The high priest’s relationship with Israel in regards to sin was reciprocal. As the representative of his people before God, the sin of the people was his and his sin was the sin of the people (Leviticus 4:2-3). The priest’s identity and function was tied up with his people.
Therefore Jesus, to be perfected as our high priest, had to be inextricably tied to us. To be made human. In doing so experience and suffer all that we would. He suffered to the point of death so that through it “He might destroy the one who has the power of death” (2:14).
Let us rejoice that we have a perfect high priest! Who is one of us, suffered as us, and rescues us from temptation! (2:18)