Hebrews 2:10-18 (NRSV)
Verse 10It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Verse 11For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, Verse 12saying, "I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you." Verse 13And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I and the children whom God has given me."
Verse 14Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, Verse 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. Verse 16For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Verse 17Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Verse 18Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us of what we already know—humankind suffers because we live in a flawed and imperfect world. God does not cause suffering. God is the comforter, gathering the distraught into the arms of grace. Jesus, the great emancipator, frees us from sin, death, and the power of evil. Jesus took on our flesh. He knows our struggles and feels our pain. Jesus suffered the agonies of rejection, sorrow, grief, and death. It might appear that evil has won, but God is unwilling to let evil have the ultimate authority in the world. Jesus breaks into our troubled lives, and “by what he suffered, he can help those being tested.” In the crucified and risen Christ, God confronts evil and deception with love and truth and sets us—“the descendants of Abraham”—free. Evil does not have the final word—God does. Evil never stood a chance.
Lord, break into my life and gather me into your arms of consolation. Amen.