Key Verse: Hebrews 2:17 “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
The key to understanding verses 5 through 18 of chapter 2 is verse 14: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil…” (NIV).
Here’s the reasoning: In order for God to deal once and for all with man’s sin, he had to become one of us. Why? Because men are subject to death, and the one who holds the power of death is Satan. To deal effectively with Satan on his level, God “levelled Himself”, as if were–He fought the devil on a level playing field. To do this, he had to reduce himself to our size where He would be vulnerable to Satan’s bullying. He sent His Son to become flesh and dwell among us, as one of us, in order to “taste death for everyone” (v.9). And this death that Jesus suffered “perfected” Him (v.10) in terms of it being the ultimate statement of his genuine humanity–humans die, Jesus died–the incarnation was real. This also means His atonement (His death on Calvary) was/is also real. He makes us holy through His shed blood, because it satisfies God’s wrath toward sin and because we and Jesus “are of the same family” (v. 11a NIV)–the human family–as opposed to the angelic family (v.9).
Even though Jesus is our Saviour (v.10), He is also our brother (v.11). What’s more, He’s proud of it (v.11b). He knows what it’s like to be human and is “able to help those who are being tempted” (v.18 NIV). That’s why He’s the perfect mediator–He’s both God and man. He’s a perfect Priest, and a perfect Saviour.