As we continue our study through the sacrificial system of the Mosaic Law, I want our attention to turn for a moment to the sacrifices themselves. In what appears to be the majority of the cases, the sacrifice being offered would be some animal, representing life. When the worshipper laid their hands on the animal (Leviticus 1:4; 3:2; 4:4), it was symbolic of the transference of sin from the worshipper to the animal being sacrificed. That sacrifice knew nothing of what was happening, for it was merely an animal; that is, not human. Those sacrifices were only “a shadow of the good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1), whereas “the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:17).
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh
and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same…
One of the earliest false teachings after the church was established was called Docetism which claimed that Christ’s body was not human but either a phantasm or of real but celestial substance, and that therefore his sufferings were only apparent. For the sacrifice of Christ to be everything it was intended to be, the fullness of His humanity must be understood. Christ “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) because it was the only way to defeat Satan and conquer death (Hebrews 2:14). Death was “the last enemy” (1st Corinthians 15:26) that made mankind “subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15) and fearful, because after death would be judgment (Hebrew 9:27). Through His sacrifice and resurrection, death was “swallowed up in victory” (1st Corinthians 15:54, 57).
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.
His humanity enabled him to relate to mankind, something the sacrifices of old could never do. He became “man in the fullest way,” as one person put it, enabling Him to “sympathize with our weaknesses” being “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Because He was made like His brethren, He could be the “merciful and faithful High Priest” that mankind needed. A High Priest that would offer one last sacrifice “to put away sin” (Hebrews 9:26); that sacrifice being Himself. Human in every way, yet without sin. Because of His humanity, “He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). Help us Lord, to now become like You.