Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It Behooved Him

As I was reading the second chapter of the book of Hebrews, in the Bible this morning, I came across the 17th and 18th verses that say:

"Wherefore, it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor (help) them that are tempted." Heb. 2:17,18

So, what does this all mean? The book of Hebrews was written to Christians that were facing very hard trials. They were considering a return to Judaism because of the pain that the name of Jesus was seemingly bring on them. This letter was written to encourage them to stay the course and keep on living for Jesus. The writer wanted them to know that Jesus understood what they were going through. This chapter tells us that Jesus took on a human body, and became a man. What it is saying was that not only did Jesus become a man to die for our sins on the cross, but that he felt compelled to do so. That old word, "behoove", carries the meaning of owing something. And why did Christ feel compelled, that as other translations say, he had to die for us? We are his creation. In fact, the Bible says that he was made like his brothers, referring to us as mankind.

Perhaps an analogy is appropriate here. I have an older brother. He is about 2 years older. Now, he did typical older brother things, like pick on me and stuff. He knew, like an older brother should, how to get under my skin. There were many times that we must have given our mom a migraine from our constant bickering. But, inspite of all that, there was a bond there that remains till this day, and will always be there. As much as he knew how to bug me, he was my biggest defender. I remember one time, when I was little, I threw a GI Joe into the street (don't ask me why!). One of the neighborhood kids saw it and declared the old "finders keepers, losers weepers" claim. My brother knew it was mine, and he promptly set out to get it back. He and the other kid duked it out in the street and he won back my beloved action figure.

Another time, when I was in middle school, he came to my aid again. There was a huge crowd of skateboarders walking and skating through the area around the house. We were playing some hockey with a couple friends out back, when someone in the crowd started messing with a friend. Well, they started to fight right in my yard! I stepped in to break it up, and one of the guys friends raised his skateboard at me as if he was going to hit me with it. My brother ran up behind him when he saw that, grabbed the skateboard out of his hand, throwing it into the street. He then grabbed the kid by the back of his shirt, swung him around and tossed him. The kid sheepishly retrieved his skateboard and rejoined the crowd.

Why did my brother come to my aid like that? Simply put, it behooved him to help his little brother. He felt a sense of responsibility to take up for me. We are family. That is what Hebrews is saying about the Lord Jesus. It behooved him to take up for us, and, as this chapter says, to "destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (vs. 14). You see, God loves us as his creation. Isn't that what John 3:16 says? "For God so loved the world...". Christ loved us too much to just let us go about in sin with no hope. He became a man and died in our place on that cross.

What's more, because he became a human being, he got to taste firsthand what we struggle with, what tempts us. The 18th verse says that he himself has been tempted, and he is able to help us who are tempted. Hebrews 4:15 says it like this:

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin." (NIV)

What this means is that Jesus knows our struggles and temptations. He knows what we go through, and it behooves him to take up for us. He will give us the grace we need to overcome that temptation that seeks to destroy us. That is why we are told to "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Heb. 4:16).

So, whatever you are going through right now, rememeber that Jesus is your elder brother. He is able to take up for you, and more than that, he will. He did not bring you this far just to leave you. Won't you let him pour his grace into your life today?

God bless!

1 comment:

ruthrap said...

i'm so glad i was behooved to read your post're the greatest! and so is Jesus! thanx mp!